Tap water is safe, Alabama Department of Environmental Management says

Tap water is safe, Alabama Department of Environmental Management says

By ABBY DRIGGERS, Alabama Daily News

Three weeks into Alabama’s response to the coronavirus outbreak, Alabamians are leaving stores across the state with carts filled with food, cleaning supplies and paper products. And in many cart undercarriages sit packages of bottled water.

There is no need to stockpile bottled water, the Alabama Department of Environmental Management says. The state’s drinking water is safe. 

“With so many things Alabamians have to worry about – their jobs, social distancing, the welfare of loved ones, gathering food and other necessities – the safety of their drinking water shouldn’t be one of them,” Lance LeFleur, director of Alabama Department of Environmental Management said in a press release Monday.

Disinfectants added as standard operation into the water system kills viruses like the coronavirus, ADEM says. The same is true for waterwaste.

“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.

Aubrey White, the head of the water division of ADEM, said the department will continue its work to enforce regulations during this time.

“Obviously, this is a huge responsibility given to us, and we take that responsibility very seriously,” said White in the press release. “Even as a lot of businesses and state agencies have curtailed activities due to COVID-19-related mandates, we must continue the monitoring, inspections, reporting and enforcement of the regulations that help ensure our water is clean and safe and will remain clean and safe.”

The drinking-water standards, established by the Safe drinking Water Act, are enforced by ADEM as delegated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

According to a 2018 Annual Compliance Report, there are 581 public water systems that provide drinking water to Alabamians. 

For more information, visit the Alabama Department of Environmental Managements’ website at www.adem.alabama.gov