COVID-19: Information for Water Operators
This webpage will be updated as additional information becomes available. Please check back regularly.
Maintaining a safe and reliable drinking water supply is always essential to protecting public health. This is particularly true when managing a disease outbreak like COVID-19. To that end, water supplies must maintain critical functions and continue to comply with Safe Drinking Water Act requirements. EGLE is committed to assisting with these efforts. Please review the information below.
EGLE is Open for Business
EGLE staff continue to maintain operations and are available during this event. While EGLE offices are closed to walk-in customers and many staff are working remotely, we are available by phone and email. If you have system-specific questions, contact your district engineer or analyst for assistance. We continue to perform plan/permit review, review sample results and monthly operation reports, respond to inquiries, etc., so you will continue to hear from us. We are also conducting necessary in-person site visits with enhanced protocols such as face coverings, social distancing, and other measures.
- Community Drinking Water Staff Contact Information
- EGLE Laboratory – Operational Status and Other Information
- Operator Training and Certification – Exam Updates, Online CEC Opportunities, and Other Information
Water Supply Calls
EGLE communication with Community Water Supply administrators and operators.
- 3/26/2020 Presentation
- 4/02/2020 Presentation (pdf) and Recording (mp4) – We apologize for the technical difficulties experienced during this week’s call. We are reviewing the issue and will make necessary adjustments for future calls.
- 4/09/2020 Presentation
- 4/16/2020 Presentation
- 4/23/2020 Presentation
- 4/30/2020 Presentation
- 5/7/2020 Presentation
- 5/14/2020 Presentation
- 5/28/2020 Presentation
- 6/11/2020 Presentation
- 7/16/2020 Presentation
General Information about COVID-19
These links provide information regarding COVID-19 in general and as it relates to drinking water.
- EPA: Water Utility Resources for the COVID-19 Pandemic
- CDC: Water Transmission and COVID-19
- EPA: Coronavirus and Drinking Water and Wastewater
- AWWA: Coronavirus and Water
- ASDWA: COVID 19 Resources and State Responses
- Centers for Disease Control Coronavirus Information
- Michigan’s Coronavirus Response
- WaterOnline: Coronavirus - What Treatment Professionals Need to Know
Ensuring Continuity of Service
A concern for water supplies during this outbreak is the potential for insufficient staffing as a result of employee illness or absence. Review your plans for managing operations if fewer staff are available, minimize contact between staff to avoid transmission, and ensure redundancy/coverage of operations. Be flexible with sick leave policies so ill workers do not come to work and risk the health of other operators. Follow social distancing and proper sanitation techniques to minimize the risk of spread.
Review your water supply’s Emergency Response Plans. Ensure water supply personnel know their roles and how to manage emergency situations. Review mutual aid agreements with other utilities as these agreements may become important.
- EPA: Emergency Response for Drinking Water and Wastewater Utilities
- CISA: Information & Updates on COVID-19
- CISA: Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers During COVID-19 Response Guidance
- CDC: Guidance on Safe Practices for Exposed Critical Infrastructure Workers
- MiWARN: Water/Wastewater Agency Response Network
- Water ISAC: Security Network of the Water and Wastewater Sector
- Water ISAC: Pandemic Continuity Planning Guide
Restoring Water Service
Access to potable drinking water plays an important role in fighting a disease outbreak. To that end, water utilities are temporarily halting water shut-offs and restoring service to homes. Please review our Recommendations when Reconnecting Water Services for guidance on flushing household plumbing after periods of non-use.
- EXECUTIVE ORDER 2020-144: Restoring water service to occupied residences during the COVID-19 pandemic
- RESCINDED EXECUTIVE ORDER 2020-28: Restoring water service to occupied residences during the COVID-19 pandemic (rescinded 7/8/20)
Building Water Systems
Resources for managing building water quality following periods of low or no water use.
- EGLE: School Flushing Guidance
- CDC: Guidance for Building Water Systems
- EPA: Maintaining or Restoring Water Quality in Buildings with Low or No Use
- ASDWA: COVID-19 Resources for Building Water Systems
- AWWA: Coronavirus Information, including Return to Service Guidance
- ESPRI: Flushing Guidance for Periods of Low or No Use
- Purdue: Water Quality in Low Occupancy and Shutdown Buildings
Total Coliform & Chlorine Residual Sampling: It is important that chlorine residuals and bacteriological samples continue to be collected across the distribution system to ensure the safety of the water being supplied to the public. However, EGLE recognizes that access to some sampling locations may be restricted as a result of COVID-19 mitigation and social distancing strategies. Flexibility of sampling locations can be accommodated. Review the guidance on our Revised Total Coliform Rule webpage. Contact EGLE staff for additional guidance and suggestions, if needed.
DBP (TTHM/HAA5) Sampling: If access to TTHM and/or HAA5 sites is restricted due to COVID-19, review the Temporary DBP Sampling Options guidance document.
Take care of yourself and those around you. Take recommended precautions when interacting with co-workers and the public.
Thank you for all you do to provide high quality drinking water to your customers.