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COVID-19 and Drinking Water

DEQ continues to monitor developments related to COVID-19. Our highest priority is protecting public health and providing assistance to our public water system owners and operators.

Please see the list of important resources related to drinking water and wastewater. We will update this page as new information becomes available.

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When a public water system (PWS) closes for an extended period of time, potable water can stagnate and deteriorate. This can occur within seven to nine days and result in disinfectant residual loss, microbial growth, sediment and metal accumulation, and disinfection byproduct formation.

The following resources provide guidance for PWS owners or operators returning to full service, including reopening a single-building water system like a school or reopening multiple buildings where a facility was closed or reduced in capacity.

PWS owners or operators should consult with their DEQ regional office or health district to coordinate reopening dates and requirements. 

DEQ recommends all systems returning to full service collect total coliform samples prior to opening and collect compliance routine total coliform samples immediately upon opening.

The standard operating procedures provided by public water system owners and operators or third party associations have not been reviewed and approved, nor endorsed, by DEQ, rather, this page simply provides a location for those entities to share the work they are currently conducting. These procedures are not law, nor do they create a right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or equity. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our  drinking water bureau chief.

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Drinking Water Bureau Chief

Tyler Fortunati
(208) 373-0140

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