In various regions of France, drinking water suppliers have increased the dose of chlorine in the water distribution networks, according to La Voix du Nord, a regional newspaper from the North of France.
This measure has been taken despite the World Health Organization (WHO) stating that the virus that causes COVID-19 has not been detected in drinking water, as well as other worldwide organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that also highlights that “Conventional water treatment methods that use filtration and disinfection, such as those in most municipal drinking water systems, should remove or inactive the virus that causes COVID-19.”
According to La Voix du Nord, water consumption has fallen in France, since many companies have ceased their activities. This means that water in the pipes has remained stagnant for a longer period of time, so adding more chlorine prevents possible microbes or viruses from appearing.
Maximilian Pellegrini, CEO of Water France at SUEZ, the utility responsible for supplying water in the Paris region, Dunkirk and Valenciennes said to Le Parisien: “Tap water is safe to drink. The novel coronavirus is not resistant to the disinfection treatment carried out in our drinking water production units. The drinking water is extremely monitored. It is analysed by the Autorités régionales de santé (Regional Health Authorities), which guarantees it complies with all regulations.”
In the French region of Grand Est, which has been specially hit by the pandemic, the ARS asked suppliers to increase the chlorine dose in the tap water. This was to guarantee the microbiological quality, but also to reduce the risk of contamination of other diseases at a time when health professionals are already overwhelmed.