EPA has established regulations with treatment requirements for public water systems that prevent waterborne pathogens such as viruses from contaminating drinking water and wastewater. Coronavirus, which causes COVID-19, is a type of virus that is particularly susceptible to disinfection and standard treatment and disinfectant processes are expected to be effective." For more information from EPA, visit their website here.
COVID-19 Preparedness Measures
Maine Water is has announced several COVID-19 related precautions that it is taking to protect the health and safety of employees, customers and the community while continuing to deliver a reliable supply of safe drinking water.
“We are committed to providing the same vital public service we do 24/7 despite the spread of COVID-19. Maine Water has well established emergency contingency and business continuity plans that anticipate and address extraordinary situations like the coronavirus so that we can deliver uninterrupted service to customers and communities while protecting the health and safety of our employees.” – Rick Knowlton, Maine Water President
Among the measures taken:
- In alignment with Governor Mills' recommendation to exercise social distancing, Maine Water employees capable of telecommuting will began working remotely on March 16. While telecommuting is not possible for some of our employees, such as the company’s field service delivery personnel who monitor water supplies, operate water treatment facilities, maintain the water distribution systems and make essential customer field visits, we are taking extra precautions and preventative measures for those teams consistent with CDC guidance and other best practices.
- Offices are closed to visitors. Maine Water is still readily available to meet customer needs: phone lines are open for 24-hour emergency service at 1-800-287-1643. Bill payments can be made by mail, phone, online at mainewater.com or at local payment agencies such as Bangor Savings Bank.
- In-home service appointments will be limited to only those that are essential. If our people need to enter a customer’s home, they will ask a few simple questions about potential exposure to the coronavirus for their safety and other customers.
- Non-essential customer appointments, such as periodic meter changes, will be rescheduled to a later date.
Suspension of water service shutoffs
In addition, Maine Water has suspended shut-offs for non-payments until further notice so that all customers will continue to have tap water for hand-washing and other hygiene needs to protect their health from the coronavirus. As always, we will work with customers on payment arrangements if they are having trouble making full payment for their water service at this time.
Safety of Drinking Water
Customers should know that tap drinking water is not a known source coronavirus. According to a March 3rd technical report issued by the World Health Organization (WHO), “The COVID-19 virus has not been detected in drinking water supplies, and based on current evidence, the risk to water supplies is low.”
Additionally, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states, "The COVID-19 virus has not been detected in drinking-water supplies. Based on current evidence, the risk to water supplies is low. Americans can continue to use and drink water from their tap as usual.
Customers should continue to use and drink tap water as usual. According to the CDC, washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds helps prevent the spread of COVID-19. Water can be used as usual and boiling water is not necessary.
Maine Water will continue to monitor developments related to the coronavirus and COVID-19, including information from the Centers for Disease Control and recommendations from Governor Mills and will comply with all mandates and recommendations to protect the public health.
Maine Water will continue to provide 24 hours emergency service by calling 1-800-287-1643. Customers can visit www.mainewater.com for updated information regarding our COVID-19 precautions.