Viruses in tap water
Gastrointestinal illness (such as diarrhea, vomiting, and cramps), hepatitis, meningitis
Waterborne viruses can be found in contaminated water supplies that have not been treated properly. Infection is often associated with the stomach flu and related symptoms like diarrhea, cramping, fever, and vomiting. However, some waterborne viruses can cause severe illness including meningitis and hepatitis, as well as complications that can lead to death. Viruses have the frightening ability to cause outbreaks and antibiotics cannot cure viral infections.
Sewage overflows, damaged or leaky sewage and septic systems, aging infrastructure, and runoff from snow, irrigation, and flooding can all lead to contamination of water systems and wells. Older treatment plants, rural water supplies and wells, and areas affected by heavy rainfall and snow are particularly susceptible to contamination.
While the U.S. EPA regulates tap water to help prevent viruses, water treatment is not a perfect science. Nor is regulation. There is no single treatment or method that can eradicate all waterborne viruses under all conditions, and there’s no guarantee that your tap water is always virus-free.
Waterborne viruses tend to be most harmful to children, elderly, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems.
- Noroviruses: Causes vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pain. Dehydration is a possible but rare complication. Noroviruses may sound familiar due to recent outbreaks on cruise ships.
- Hepatitis A: Causes liver infection. In rare cases, liver failure and death can occur.
- Rotavirus: Causes diarrhea and vomiting in infants and children. Severe cases can lead to dehydration and death. Most U.S. infants receive rotavirus vaccinations.
- Poliovirus: Causes polio. Due to vaccination, no case of polio has originated in the U.S. since 1979. However, outbreaks have occurred worldwide and the disease can be brought stateside by infected people.
- Adenoviruses: Causes pink eye, tonsillitis, ear infections, and other upper respiratory tract issues.
- Coxsackie A: Causes hand, foot, and mouth disease. Symptoms include sores, rashes, and fever. Severe cases can lead to meningitis.
- Coxsackie B: Associated with fever, headache, sore throat, and stomach pain. Just like Coxsackie A, severe cases can lead to meningitis.
- Echovirus: This family of viruses affects the gastrointestinal tract (GI). Though uncommon, severe cases can lead to meningitis.
- Upgrade to a Clearly Filtered filtered water pitcher. Our pitcher’s filter is tested and proven to remove waterborne viruses. Plus, it removes 54x more dangerous contaminants than typical carbon filters.
- Boil water for three minutes, store in a sealed container, and refrigerate. Note: Boiling water does not remove lead, nitrates, pesticides, and other common contaminants found in tap water.
- Invest in a water purifier certified to remove viruses. If the purifier uses ultraviolet light (UV) to remove viruses, be sure both the light source is free of obstruction and the water is completely clear. If not, the technology will not work. The bottom line is UV purifiers can render viruses inert, but you will still be drinking the “inactivated” viruses. Clearly Filtered, on the other hand, removes viruses.
- Important: Typical carbon and charcoal filters do not remove viruses from water.
Affinity Filtration Technology Product
1. US EPA. National primary Drinking Water Regulations. https://www.epa.gov/ground-water-and-drinking-water/national-primary-drinking-water-regulations. Accessed April 1, 2021.
2. US EPA. Coronavirus and Drinking Water and Wastewater. https://www.epa.gov/coronavirus/coronavirus-and-drinking-water-and-wastewater. Accessed April 1, 2021.
3. CDC. Effect of Chlorination on Inactivating Selected Pathogen. https://www.cdc.gov/safewater/effectiveness-on-pathogens.html. Accessed April 1, 2021.
4. CDC. A Guide For Drinking Water Treatment and Sanitation for Backcountry & Travel Use. https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/drinking/travel/backcountry_water_treatment.html. Accessed April 1, 2021.
5. PLOS Pathogens. Waterborne Viruses: A Barrier to Safe Drinking Water. https://journals.plos.org/plospathogens/article?id=10.1371/journal.ppat.1004867. Accessed April 1, 2021.
6. Water Tech Online. Bacteria and Viruses Commonly Found In Drinking Water. https://www.watertechonline.com/wastewater/article/15545721/bacteria-and-viruses-commonly-found-in-drinking-water. Accessed April 1, 2021.