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As people continue to buy up supplies and stay at home because of the coronavirus outbreak and the need for social distancing, one thing state officials say people don’t need to worry about is buying bottled water.

The Alabama Department of Environmental Management said Monday that there should be no doubt that the water coming out of residents’ taps at home is free of coronavirus.

“The water they get from their tap, whether it’s from a large municipal system or a small, rural utility, is 100 percent safe due to the proven safety requirements they are required to follow and that ADEM enforces,” ADEM Director Lance Lafleur said in a news release.

LeFleur said disinfectants the water systems add as standard operating procedures kill viruses, including the virus that causes COVID-19. He also said standard operations of wastewater systems kill any viruses before the treated water is discharged into Alabama’s rivers and streams.

He also said he agrees with the federal government’s designation of water and wastewater treatment employees as essential jobs that needed to continue while many businesses close their doors and work from home if possible.

“While coronavirus does not in itself pose a threat to our drinking water, nor to our wastewater treatment systems, it would be impossible to fight the virus without clean water,” LeFleur said.
“Our water systems and their employees are essential, and from our standpoint, so too are the people, our people, whose job is to make sure those systems are safe and well-maintained.”