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Can I catch coronavirus (COVID-19) from drinking water?

No, there is no evidence that the coronavirus (COVID-19) is transmitted by drinking water. The current evidence is that coronavirus (COVID-19) is most likely transmitted from person-to-person by:

  • close contact with an infectious person
  • contact with droplets from an infected person’s cough or sneeze
  • touching objects or surfaces (like doorknobs or tables) that have cough or sneeze droplets from an infected person, and then touching your mouth or face.

Our drinking water is high quality and is well treated. There is no evidence that drinking water is affected by coronavirus (COVID-19).


Should I buy bottled water?

No, there is no need to buy bottled water for drinking. Safe, clean tap water will continue to be supplied.


How is Coliban Water protecting the drinking water supply?

Our water treatment and disinfection facilities are designed to remove or inactivate the most resistant pathogens from the water supply. Existing treatment process are expected to be highly effective to inactivate the coronavirus (COVID-19).

We have stringent hygiene measures in place at water treatment plants and secondary disinfection facilities. We maintain a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) independently certified drinking water quality management system, covering the entire water supply system from catchment to taps.

Our water treatment plants are secure, have back up power, have a high level of automation and remote operation, and require few staff to operate.

We are well prepared for supply-chain impacts (the supply of chemical, parts and equipment) as a result of the wider industry response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

We are in contact with key government agencies to monitor and understand the health impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) as it develops.


If Coliban Water employees are quarantined at home, will service be maintained?

Yes, water is an essential service and we are well prepared to manage our response to coronavirus (COVID-19).

We have enacted our pandemic and emergency response plans and continue to update and adapt them in response to the most current available information.


Can COVID-19 be transmitted by the sewerage system?

Current disinfection methods at wastewater treatment plants are expected to be sufficient to inactivate the coronavirus (COVID-19).

We will continue to treat sewage to the relevant guidelines and standards to protect public health and the environment. This includes best practices for protecting the occupational health of workers at treatment facilities.

Our sewerage treatment plants are secure, have back up power, have a high level of automation and remote operation, and require few staff to operate.


About drinking water quality in Australia

Australia’s drinking water is among the safest and most highly regulated in the world. Water utilities supply safe, high quality drinking water to cities and regions across Australia.

The Australian Drinking Water Guidelines developed by the National Health and Medical Research Council provide rigorous guideline values for water utilities to follow.

Last updated on 13 May 2020
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