Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update
In response to the Coronavirus, COVID-19, the district lobby is temporarily closed as a precautionary measure. Visit Pay My Bill to learn about the variety of ways you can pay your bill.
District tours, events, and workshops have been postponed. All other district business and operations are being performed as usual. Water quality and supply are not impacted. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve does not currently offer the opportunity to practice social distancing mandated by the California Department of Public Health and the San Diego County Health & Human Services Agency and must close until further notice. The Interpretive Center is also closed until further notice and events scheduled to be held at the center are canceled.
Washing hands and using wipes are vital to slowing the spread of coronavirus, but don’t flush them down the toilet! Wipes and paper towels don’t break down like toilet paper does. Many wipes also include plastics and materials like nylon which negatively impacts sewer systems.
OMWD is postponing water service disconnections for non-payment on a case-by-case basis until further notice.
Inactive Plumbing Systems May Require Care to Ensure Safety: OMWD’s water continues to meet all state and federal drinking water standards—but after water leaves the distribution system and enters private service connections, the water quality can deteriorate if water becomes stagnant. Building owners and managers should take special care with plumbing systems in buildings that have been vacant or have had periods of low water use to protect the public and employees returning to work. Because this is a national issue, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers several resources for proper management of plumbing systems to reduce the risk of bacteria growth. Washington State’s Department of Health recently updated its guide for building owners and managers. In addition, California’s Water Boards offer guidance for reactivating service and operations. State-certified California labs can be found here.
Your Water is Safe
With rising public concern over the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus), you can be confident that the coronavirus has no impact on the quality or supply of your tap water.* While it’s always recommended to stock food, bottled water, and medicine at home in case of an emergency, OMWD does not expect this health outbreak to disrupt service to our customers. OMWD uses the best industry practices to keep your water safe and deliver water of the highest quality, meeting or exceeding all stringent state and federal drinking water requirements. This information is detailed in our Consumer Confidence Report.
Ultrafiltration is a barrier filtration process utilizing specialized membranes. The water, from which the solids are being removed, passes through the membranes. Membranes provide a physical barrier to viruses, bacteria, organic pollutants, and other contaminants by preventing passage of solids larger than the pores in the membrane.* The following illustration provides a complete overview of the process.
Once water is filtered, it then goes through a disinfection process. In the unlikely scenario where pathogens, such as a virus, make it through the filtration process, they are inactivated when sodium hypochlorite (chlorine) is added. Sodium hypochlorite serves as an effective line of defense against viruses.* This ensures safe drinking water for all our customers.
* = Research regarding the novel coronavirus is ongoing. According to the World Health Organization, “Currently, there is no evidence about the survival of the COVID-19 virus in drinking-water…” and that “…there is no current evidence from surrogate human coronaviruses that they are present in surface or groundwater sources or transmitted through contaminated drinking-water.” “Conventional, centralized water treatment methods that utilize filtration and disinfection should inactivate the COVID-19 virus.” (World Health Organization. (2020). Water, sanitation, hygiene and waste management for COVID-19. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/publications-detail/water-sanitation-hygiene-and-waste-management-for-covid-19)
Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
The following information is from the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency.
• Through the air by coughing and sneezing.
• Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands.
• Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes.
Common symptoms in an infected person include fever, cough, and shortness of breath or difficulty breathing. The CDC currently believes that symptoms of COVID-19 may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure.
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
• If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. It should be at least 60% alcohol.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
• If you are sick, stay home and keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.
• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
• Practice other good health habits. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids and eat nutritious food.
County of San Diego
California Department of Public Health
Center for Disease Control
World Health Organization