COVID-19 and Our Water & Wastewater Industry

(March 17, 2020) – As an essential service, our laboratory continues to operate to protect public health and preserve our environment.  The Centers for Disease Control and Water Environment Federation has shared guidance about drinking water and wastewater transmission of COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

Their websites will be frequently updated with new information as it becomes available.  Live information on their website should be used for the most accurate information.

According to WEF, currently, there is no evidence that the COVID-19 virus survives the disinfection process for drinking water and wastewater.

  • 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 sewerage systems is thought to be low.

Water Transmission and COVID-19  <–This Site Answers the following Questions:

  • Can the COVID-19 virus spread through drinking water?
  • Is the COVID-19 virus found in feces?
  • Can the COVID-19 virus spread through pools and hot tubs?
  • Can the COVID-19 virus spread through sewerage systems?
  • Should wastewater workers take extra precautions to protect themselves from the COVID-19 virus?

For Guidance for Reducing Health Risk to Workers Handling Human Wastewater <–​ This Site Shares the following Information:

  • Basic Hygiene Practices for Workers
  • Personal Protective Equipment

We remain committed to providing our team with all support, tools, and information necessary to safely perform their jobs.

If you are a client experiencing disruption to business operations, please contact your project manager as soon as you learn so that we can make arrangements to accommodate your alterations.

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Service Update

We’d like to let you know what Suburban Testing Labs is doing as a result of the COVID-19 virus news.

Most of our clients are considered “essential services”, providing safe drinking water to residents and clean water to our rivers, lakes and streams from treatment facilities. As a result, many require frequent analytical testing.

We will remain operational to support our clients as planned unless you hear otherwise.

If your business or facility has temporarily closed, altered entry procedures, contact information, or anything has changed regarding our routine sample collection/pick-up procedures to serve you, notify your Project Manager immediately to minimize disruption for all of our clients.

We recognize that our clients and our team are working with samples that may contain harmful bacteria, viruses, and other contaminants on a daily basis.  Proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) measures are always essential for all employees handling samples. However, recent Coronavirus news is a good reminder to be extra diligent when handling samples and entering the premises of our client sites.

What Are We Doing Internally

Although many of our employees are in the low or very low risk segment for contracting COVID-19, we all have an obligation to do our part to slow the spread and protect the health of our team members and families.

We have taken measures to remain fully operational to serve you, such as:

  1. Cancelling employee attendance at any events with more than 25 attendees and keep in person meetings to a minimum in the building.
  2. Minimizing onsite visits, beyond Sample Receiving, from non-essential guests and screening all visitors using a questionnaire to assess their risk level.
  3. Instituting daily and more frequent sanitizing of commonly touched surfaces.
  4. Field Scientists and Technicians have been given guidance to help them minimize exposure at client sites.
  5. Requiring a quarantine period before returning to work for employees who travel by air to certain places, or have other factors that put them at higher risk.
  6. Offering opportunities to alter work shifts to minimize the number of people in the building at a given time and provide opportunities for those who lose childcare due to school and daycare closures.

We are actively taking every step necessary to ensure your lab testing services are not disrupted. Should anything change, we will be sure to make you aware immediately.

Thank you,

Your Suburban Testing Labs Team