COVID-19

General Information

CDC is responding to an outbreak of respiratory disease caused by a novel (new) coronavirus that was first detected in China and which has now been detected in almost 90 locations internationally, including in the United States. The virus has been named “SARS-CoV-2” and the disease it causes has been named “coronavirus disease 2019” (abbreviated “COVID-19”). (This information was taken from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.)

Currently, there is no evidence on the survival of COVID-19 virus in drinking water or sewage. The morphology and chemical structure of COVID-19 virus is very similar to other surrogate human coronaviruses for which there is evidence on both survival in the environment and effective inactivation measures.(This information was taken from the World Helath Organization’s Water, sanitation, hygiene and wastemanagement for COVID-19 document.)

Water System Information

The National Rural Water Association continues to monitor the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and recommends all water and wastewater utilities review the best and latest information on the following trusted websites:

CDC OSHAWHO CISA

At this time, existing safe management techniques in both drinking water and sanitation apply to COVID-19.  Extra measures are not needed.  In particular, disinfection treatment processes will facilitate more rapid die-off of the COVID-19 virus. Provision of safe water, sanitation and hygienic conditions play an essential role in protecting human health during all infectious disease outbreaks, including the current COVID-19 outbreak.

Frequent and proper hand washing is one of the most important prevention measures for COVID-19.  Good and consistently applied hygiene in communities, homes, schools, workplaces, marketplaces and health care facilities will further help to prevent human-to-human transmission of COVID-19.

This outbreak continues to evolve and information changes daily. Similar to past viral outbreaks of this magnitude, COVID-19 is something to be taken very seriously. NRWA will continue to monitor the situation and is following the guidance of leading health authorities. Any impact to technical assistance, training programs, meeting and/or conferences will be posted prominently at www.nrwa.org.

National Water Utility Survey | Impacts of COVID-19 Emergency

Please fill out this rapid survey to assess the overall impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic emergency on your utility. NRWA will use the information generated by this survey to support legislation to help all water utilities respond to and recover from this crisis.

The survey is intended for all water and wastewater utilities (“water utility”) nationwide. Your answers will be kept strictly confidential. Please fill out one survey per utility. Thank you for time.

Take Survey


Resources


We Salute Water & Wastewater Essential Workers

The National Rural Water Association and each State Rural Water Association is greatly appreciative of the hard work our essential water and wastewater workers are accomplishing during this time. These quotes from the State Associations are a small way to keep encouraging these workers to continue their efforts. If you would like to submit a quote on behalf of your state, please send it to communications@nrwa.org.

Minnesota Rural Water Association is the administrative arm of our WARN – called MnWARN  (also I am their Secretary) and they have over 410 members that will respond if possible to emergency situations. MnWARN has made the decision that a pandemic is a WARN event and the WARN members can respond with operations specialists if they are available and can respond to a WARN activation. For the other 400+ municipalities in Minnesota that are not WARN members, we are compiling a list of those non-WARN members to see who will be willing to volunteer to assist communities in the event of an emergency pandemic.

Minnesota Rural Water Association

The National Rural Water Association
2020-04-05T21:13:46-05:00

Minnesota Rural Water Association

Minnesota Rural Water Association is the administrative arm of our WARN – called MnWARN  (also I am their Secretary) and they have over 410 members that will respond if possible to emergency situations. MnWARN has made the decision that a pandemic is a WARN event and the WARN members can respond with operations specialists if they are available and can respond to a WARN activation. For the other 400+ municipalities in Minnesota that are not WARN members, we are compiling a list of those non-WARN members to see who will be willing to volunteer to assist communities in the event of an emergency pandemic.
“Our team of dedicated employees understand their vital role as operators in providing water and wastewater services. Our employees care, taking on additional duties and extending further measures to fulfill our mission daily,” stated General Manager John Dix. "The appreciation of our team of professionals is even greater during this difficult time as they work hard to defeat the spread of COVID-19.”

Kentucky Rural Water Association

The National Rural Water Association
2020-04-05T22:10:36-05:00

Kentucky Rural Water Association

“Our team of dedicated employees understand their vital role as operators in providing water and wastewater services. Our employees care, taking on additional duties and extending further measures to fulfill our mission daily,” stated General Manager John Dix. "The appreciation of our team of professionals is even greater during this difficult time as they work hard to defeat the spread of COVID-19.”
Robert White told Circle of Blue that his association and those that represent other states are compiling lists of volunteer operators who are certified to operate drinking water and wastewater plants and can assume control if regular staff are quarantined or unable to work. Volunteers are drawn from retired operators and from neighboring utilities that might have extra staff on hand.
“The water and wastewater industry is really close and works together”

Alabama Rural Water Association

The National Rural Water Association
2020-04-05T22:17:06-05:00

Alabama Rural Water Association

Robert White told Circle of Blue that his association and those that represent other states are compiling lists of volunteer operators who are certified to operate drinking water and wastewater plants and can assume control if regular staff are quarantined or unable to work. Volunteers are drawn from retired operators and from neighboring utilities that might have extra staff on hand. “The water and wastewater industry is really close and works together”
Our team of dedicated employees understand the vital role they play in maintaining a safe and reliable drinking water and wastewater system for our members. In the response to the Coronavirus pandemic they truly are steadfast in their efforts to protect our most valuable resource.” states Alicia Keeter, General Manager, South Walton Utility, Inc.

South Walton Utility

The National Rural Water Association
2020-04-05T21:53:20-05:00

South Walton Utility

Our team of dedicated employees understand the vital role they play in maintaining a safe and reliable drinking water and wastewater system for our members. In the response to the Coronavirus pandemic they truly are steadfast in their efforts to protect our most valuable resource.” states Alicia Keeter, General Manager, South Walton Utility, Inc.
Thank you to our Water and Wastewater Operations Specialists, you impact more lives in one day than most people do in a lifetime.

Alliance of Indiana Rural Water

The National Rural Water Association
2020-04-05T21:38:05-05:00

Alliance of Indiana Rural Water

Thank you to our Water and Wastewater Operations Specialists, you impact more lives in one day than most people do in a lifetime.
South Dakota Association of Rural Water Systems (SDARWS) and South Dakota Water/Wastewater Agency Response Network (SDWARN) is compiling a pool (list of volunteers) of certified water and wastewater operators who might be available to provide emergency on-site assistance to other systems.

South Dakota Association of Rural Water Systems

The National Rural Water Association
2020-04-05T21:25:11-05:00

South Dakota Association of Rural Water Systems

South Dakota Association of Rural Water Systems (SDARWS) and South Dakota Water/Wastewater Agency Response Network (SDWARN) is compiling a pool (list of volunteers) of certified water and wastewater operators who might be available to provide emergency on-site assistance to other systems.
Our field staff continue to be available for technical assistance both on-site and remotely while Vermont is under the Stay Home, Stay Safe order.

“Vermont has started putting together what we’re calling a Substitute Operator List. We’ve had a tremendous response in a short period of time, it’s so wonderful to see how willing and eager folks are to help each other out.” – Katherine Boyk

Vermont Rural Water Association

The National Rural Water Association
2020-04-05T21:44:56-05:00

Vermont Rural Water Association

Our field staff continue to be available for technical assistance both on-site and remotely while Vermont is under the Stay Home, Stay Safe order. “Vermont has started putting together what we’re calling a Substitute Operator List. We’ve had a tremendous response in a short period of time, it’s so wonderful to see how willing and eager folks are to help each other out.” – Katherine Boyk
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The National Rural Water Association


State Associations:

The National Rural Water Association is requesting each State Association compile a list of certified water and wastewater operators who might be available to provide on-site emergency assistance to systems if operators and technicians are impacted by COVID-19. State Associations should broadly reach out to develop a listing of available personnel, including to state agencies.

This list can include retired or semi-retired operators, certified individuals not currently working as an operator, qualified consultants, or other related individuals.

Communicate with your member utilities to encourage them to reach out to their neighboring utilities to become better prepared. This will help create informal mutual aid agreements if critical staff is confined and unable to run the system.

Water & Wastewater Systems:

During this viral outbreak, there may be systems which require operational assistance if critical staff are quarantined or unable to run the water system. Each State Association is alert and available by phone to respond to emergencies. In addition, neighboring water and wastewater operators are a great resource for backup coverage in case of emergencies.

If you are a retired or semi-retired operator, certified individual not currently working as an operator, qualified consultant, or other related individual willing to provide relief to systems that need backup coverage, please contact your state association from the map below to join this list.

AL AK AZ AR CA CO CT DE FL GA HI ID IL IN IA KS KY LA ME MD MA MI MN MS MO MT NE NV NH NJ NM NY NC ND OH OK OR PA RI SC SD TN TX UT VT VA WA WV WI WY DC