Providing the water industry with information on coronavirus

Providing the water industry with information on coronavirus

Published On 28/05/2020

The benefits of having an advisory service to inform the industry on potential threats to its sewerage and water treatment operations is important at the best of times. Recent events are demonstrating the benefits of having expert advice on hand.

For thirty years UKWIR has been providing a Toxicity Advisory Service on Toxicity Datasheets and Microsheets on behalf of its members. This is delivered by WRc.

It provides the members with vital assistance in dealing with chemical and microbiological contaminants in water. It provides a valuable source of information for discussions with regulators and health agencies and is continuously being updated to incorporate the latest information.

This service is able to respond to any new developments that may have implication for the quality of drinking water, wastewater or public health.. In the past this has included the assessment of the potential risk from cryptosporidium that was described in the last edition of UKWIR News.

Briefing note

Following a request from water companies, WRc prepared a Briefing Note on the new coronavirus on behalf of UKWIR.

The objective of was to provide companies with an assessment of the risks posed by the 2019-nCoV to their operations.

It provided (as of 12/02/2020) information on the causal agent of this disease, symptoms of illness and fate and behaviour of the virus in the environment, including susceptibility to treatment processes employed by the industry such as disinfection.

Consideration was also given to the occupational risk posed to water industry workers and a qualitative assessment of the risk has been performed.

As more information emerges it may become necessary to revise this risk assessment and further updates of this briefing note will be produced.

The briefing provides helpful background information. It sets out in clear terms where the virus developed and had spread by this time while describing its clinical manifestations as well as the methods of transmission.

It also included a description of the virus in relation to previous epidemics including SARS in 2002 and MERS in 2012.

The arrangement means that the briefing will be updated as clearer information become available.