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World Health Organization Says Treated Water Safe from Coronavirus

Standard levels of disinfection should kill the virus responsible for COVID-19 in water, WHO said.

By Rebecca Robledo

The World Health Organization released a paper addressing the virus responsible for COVID-19 as it pertains to water.

The paper, titled “Water, Sanitation, Hygiene and Waste Management for the COVID-19 Virus,” stated that the coronavirus responsible for COVID-19 is killed by 0.5 ppm or more of chlorine in the water, as well as other standard methods of disinfection. Drinking water that undergoes standard treatment will be free of the virus, WHO said.

“Conventional, centralized water treatment methods that utilize filtration and disinfection should inactivate the COVID-19 virus,” the paper stated. “Other human coronaviruses have been shown to be sensitive to chlorination and disinfection with ultraviolet (UV) light.”

The virus that causes COVID-19 is enveloped, meaning it has a fragile outer membrane that renders it less stable and more susceptible to oxidants such as chlorine.

“As enveloped viruses are surrounded by a lipid host cell membrane, which is not robust, the COVID-19 virus is likely to be more sensitive to chlorine and other oxidant disinfection processes than many other viruses,” it said.

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