The Water Quality Association supports the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s request of all U.S. governors that drinking water employees be considered essential workers when state authorities enact restrictions such as “shelter in place” orders to curb the spread of COVID-19. 

WQA Global Governmental Affairs Director David Loveday participated in a conference call with EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler on March 27 to discuss national water issues, including Wheeler’s letter to the governors urging them to ensure that drinking water employees receive essential worker status.

 “The EPA recognizes the role of the water treatment industry in assuring our nation has access to a safe, clean and reliable water supply throughout the crisis,” Loveday said.  He said the conference call included perspectives of major water utilities, rural water associations, nationwide chemical groups, the supply chain and manufacturers.

EPA has assured the public that the COVID-19 virus has not been detected in drinking water supplies and, based on current evidence, the risk to water supplies is low. 

WQA members provide water treatment solutions for homeowners, small businesses, commercial users, hospitals and health care institutions, industrial users and manufacturers as well as private well users and small water systems operators. WQA has posted resources and helpful information for its members regarding COVID-19 on the association’s website.

In addition to WQA, representatives of major associations involved in providing drinking water to the public participated in the call, including the American Water Works Association; Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies; Rural Community Assistance Partnership; American Chemistry Council; U.S. Chamber of Commerce; National Lime Association; Boston Water and Sewer; Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District; City of Atlanta Department of Watershed; DC Water; Water and Wastewater Equipment Manufacturers Association; NACWA; and National Rural Water Association.