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COVID-19 Information for Water Operators

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Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy

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.

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.

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.


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 Precautions

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.