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Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19

Frequently Asked Questions:

COVID-19 precautions at ReWA


Can COVID-19 exist in wastewater or drinking water?

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, there is no current evidence that the

COVID-19 virus survives the disinfection process for drinking water and wastewater. It’s

important to remember the following:

• The COVID-19 virus has not been detected in drinking water.

• The risk of transmission through feces is expected to be low based on data from

previous outbreaks of related coronaviruses, such as severe acute respiratory

syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).

• At this time, the risk of transmission of COVID-19 through sewer systems is

extremely low.


But can I get COVID-19 from wastewater or sewage?

The World Health Organization (WHO) has indicated that there is no evidence to date

that COVID-19 virus has been transmitted via sewerage systems, with or without

wastewater treatment.

Do wastewater treatment plants treat COVID-19?

Yes, wastewater treatment plants treat viruses and other pathogens. COVID-19 is a type

of virus that is particularly susceptible to disinfection. Standard treatment and

disinfectant processes at wastewater treatment plants are expected to be effective.


Will my septic system treat COVID-19?

While decentralized wastewater treatment (i.e., septic tanks) do not disinfect, the

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) expects a properly managed septic system to

treat COVID-19 the same way it safely manages other viruses often found in

wastewater. Additionally, when properly installed, a septic system is located at a

distance and location designed to avoid impacting a water supply well.


Are you taking any special precautions at ReWa because of COVID-19?

COVID-19–specific protections aren’t recommended or required for employees

involved in wastewater management operations, including those at wastewater

treatment facilities. However, we will continue in our adherence to best practice

management to ensure safety and security for our employees, our customers and the

community.

But what are ReWa’s standard procedures for ensuring health and safety?

Water resource recovery facility operations at ReWa ensure that our team follows the

established best management practices to prevent exposure to wastewater. These

include using engineering and administrative controls, safe work practices, and

personal protective equipment (PPE) normally required for work tasks when handling

untreated wastewater.


Are any ReWa facilities open to the public?

Water resource recovery facility operations at ReWa ensure that our team follows the

established best management practices to prevent exposure to wastewater. These

include using engineering and administrative controls, safe work practices, and

personal protective equipment (PPE) normally required for work tasks when handling

untreated wastewater.


May I come to the ReWa office?

This developing situation calls for immediate and careful action. At this time, we have

made the decision to close our facilities for the next two weeks, effective, Monday,

March 16. All tours of ReWa facilities have also been postponed until further notice.


Who do I call with questions or emergencies?

We can always be reached at (864) 299-4000 during normal business hours, or, afterhours, at (864) 299-4004. We will also post updates to our website at rewaonline.org.


Is ReWa changing any of its customer service procedures?

ReWa will not disconnect any customer’s service for non-payment, in order to give

customers experiencing financial hardship extra time to make payments. Customers

should pay what they can to avoid building up a large balance that will be harder to

pay off later.

Are ReWa employees in the office?

• Through a carefully planned process, ReWa has directed employees who are

not involved with critical functions and wastewater operations to work from

home, where possible. If ReWa staff needs to interact with customers in-person in

response to potential sewer-service emergencies, they will follow the CDC’s

safety guidelines, including social distancing.

• Services and meetings that are not urgent or time-sensitive but require in-person

customer contact by ReWa employees, will be rescheduled. ReWa will contact

customers to reschedule those appointments.

• Be aware of scammers, who continue to target customers by threatening disconnection of service and asking for immediate payment over the phone.

ReWa will never ask for personal information over the phone or demand payment using money orders or gift cards.

Where do I go for more information?

• Visit rewaonline.org for complete customer information related to wastewater services, including answers to frequently asked questions. We will post customer related updates to our homepage. You may also visit our social media platforms

to get quick updates on Facebook and Twitter.