COVID-19 is a form of the coronavirus which has spread rapidly creating a global pandemic. It’s the first time nearly in years we’ve seen cities shut down and residents informed to stay in their homes, either stuck in quarantine or only allowed out for essentials such as shopping as infrequently as possible.
Since COVID-19 is relatively new, this form of the coronavirus is still open to scientific research – we’re not quite sure of a vaccine and probably won’t be for some time – but, what about sewage systems? Can this new virus spread through the plumbing?
This strain of the coronavirus, COVID-19 is much less likely to be spread through sewage systems, especially when compared to other strains of the coronavirus such as SARS and MERS. Current research points to a low-risk factor of this strain, COVID-19 spreading through your plumbing, at least according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
However, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be more cautious – although it is thought that nobody has caught the virus through their plumbing and or sewage system, it was possible with other strains.
So, what can we do?
How can you be careful when it comes to plumbing issues?
As a general rule of thumb, with this applying to all viruses and nasty diseases if there’s an odor coming from drains or dry pipes this is a no go. Action needs to be taken. To prevent these dry pipes we recommend pouring clean water through floor drains such as in bathrooms, in the basements, and wherever else you may have these.
Likewise, while many households would quite clearly do this anyways, it’s important to clean and eliminate standing water in the case of a toilet overflow as a result of a blocked toilet. This is to prevent fecal over-flow and infection.
Now, more than ever it’s important to protect your own hygiene for the sake of your own health and well-being and others. Wear gloves, wear a mask, and certainly don’t touch your face, especially when unblocking a toilet.
Are plumbers essential to service homes?
We would generally recommend getting a plumber to service your home, especially if you want a good job done. However, amid the current coronavirus pandemic if you can do it yourself we recommend giving it a go.
This prevents contact with others (the plumbers) and is much safer – granted you follow the safety precautions outlined above.
However, if the problem is too difficult to handle yourself you can get an on-call plumber, just be sure to keep your distance.
In the meantime, and to prevent the need for a plumber keep with regular maintenance – this will also reduce your risk of catching the coronavirus through your plumbing even further, even though the initial risk factor is very low.
The bottom line
As of now, it is thought that catching COVID-19 through your plumbing is very unlikely. However, this was possible through other forms of coronavirus such as SARS and MERS. Therefore, we recommend keeping up good hygiene practices and performing regular home maintained such was preventing dry pipes and cleaning drains with clean water a few times a week.