General Information

Photo from CDC

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:

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

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 your time.


Water/Wastewater Critical Infrastructure Worker DesignationView
CDC Communications ToolkitView
Water System Preparedness for Pandemic InfluenzaDownload
Business Continuity Planning for Water UtilitiesDownload
Influenza Pandemic Continuity of Operations Plan TemplateDownload
USDA COVID-19 Resource PageView
EPA COVID-19 Resource PageView
CISA Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce GuidanceView
Pandemic Incident Action Checklist for Water UtilitiesDownload
CDC: Water and COVID-19 FAQsView
EPA: Coronavirus and Drinking Water and WastewaterView
USDA COVID-19 Federal Rural Resource GuideDownload
National Water Utility Survey ResultsView
National Water Utility Survey Results White SheetDownload
Information for Sanitation and Wastewater Workers on COVID-19View
WSCC Vaccination Statement 12/15/2020View

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. If your utility needs help or assistance dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, please contact your State Association.