The Group is working to ensure service continuity for local authorities, private and industrial customers in all the countries in which it manages water, sanitation and waste services. Preventive measures are in place to protect all its employees.
The coronavirus is now present worldwide. In the countries in which SUEZ operates, water and waste treatment solutions are a public service that the Group must provide no matter what the circumstances.
We have taken every necessary measure to ensure service continuity:
Continuity plans are being implemented in every country affected by the pandemic. They cover the treatment and distribution of drinking water, wastewater sanitation, waste collection and treatment, and industrial services. Continuity plans may be applied at any time in the countries in which we operate.
We are maintaining regular internal communications with our 90,000 employees to remind them of the preventive hygiene measures they must adopt (handwashing etc.). We are also providing support by implementing measures to enable teleworking and team rotations where necessary.
All non-critical business has been postponed, as has some maintenance work. Certain operational activities, such as home meter readings, based on estimates, and customer services will also be provided electronically. All our departments are now prepared to cope with the pandemic. We have the capacity to adapt constantly, as we have to do when we are on call.
What impact does the COVID-19 virus have on our water and waste services?
Drinking water: The virus does not resist the disinfection processes (chlorine, UV, ozone) we apply in our water treatment plants, any more than other viruses do. This has been confirmed by scientists. No drinking water contamination has been detected and there have been no cases of transmission of the virus through drinking water.
Wastewater: We have adopted more stringent personnel protection measures at our plants (masks, safety glasses, gloves, etc.) and postponed any operations that are not essential for continuity of our services.
Waste: We take the necessary precautions (gloves) when handling waste and when in proximity to aerosols/fine particles (masks, safety glasses). We apply the usual protective measures when handling hospital waste.