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To protect the safety of customers and employees, the Regional Water Authority (RWA) is taking reasonable precautions in response to the spread of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Connecticut. The RWA is also halting water service shutoffs due to nonpayment until April 30, 2020, at which point the policy will be revisited. Most importantly, the RWA remains confident that COVID-19 poses no risk to drinking water.
“Access to water is critical to the protection of health and safety at all times, but particularly when managing a serious disease outbreak like COVID-19,” said Larry Bingaman, President and CEO of the Regional Water Authority. “No one should be deprived of access to tap water due to inability to pay during this time of heightened need. The RWA is temporarily ceasing all water service shutoffs as a result of nonpayment until April 30 so that our customers will continue to have access to water for hygiene, consumption and safety during the current pandemic event.”
The RWA’s regular water treatment processes include disinfecting all water before it reaches customers. This disinfection process ensures that tap water is safe from COVID-19. The spread of COVID-19 will not impact the RWA’s clean, safe and high-quality tap water. Furthermore, the RWA is taking steps to help ensure employees remain healthy and available to oversee and manage the company’s water system.
Staff at the RWA’s water treatment plants are being encouraged to avoid large gatherings or attending meetings at company headquarters unless it is necessary. This will limit contact with other people, thereby decreasing the likelihood of exposure to COVID-19.
The RWA will continue responding to water main breaks and conducting infrastructure maintenance during the COVID-19 outbreak. However, the company asks that customers not schedule in-home appointments or visit RWA locations if anyone in their household is exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, has recently been in contact with anyone with COVID-19 or has traveled to a location identified as high-risk by the CDC.
Safety is a core value of the RWA. The company prepares emergency plans and conducts trainings and simulations throughout the year for many different types of unexpected issues. The RWA has an Infectious Disease Business Continuity Plan to guide response to outbreaks such as the one currently occurring around the world. As the situation develops, that plan and other established procedures will guide the RWA’s further response to the COVID-19 outbreak to protect the health of employees so that they may continue to provide the high-quality water and service that customers expect.