In the midst of deepening concerns about the spread of COVID-19 with the rise in confirmed cases worldwide, on March 24, Seoul announced that the tap water is safe to drink, as viruses are thoroughly eliminated from the city water that citizens use and drink every day through the treatment process.
According to the results of studies by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization, waterborne infection of COVID-19 is very unlikely and killing the virus with chlorine is easier than killing other waterborne viruses. Therefore, it is known that the pre-existing water treatment procedures are sufficient to eliminate COVID-19.
The tap water of Seoul comes from the Hangang River. It is first processed with the proper chemicals to filter out impurities, followed by advanced water purification procedures using ozone and granular activated carbon before mixing in an adequate amount of chlorine. Over 99.99% of viruses are killed through the process and the tap water produced this way outperforms the “water treatment standards” determined by the law.
More specifically, the final step in water treatment–injecting chlorine to inactivate microbes–ensures the ultimate safety from viruses and distribution of safe tap water.
The standards applied in Seoul are stricter than national operational regulations set forth by the law. Therefore, the city is producing tap water that guarantees better safety from viruses and waterborne diseases as well as water that does not need to be boiled and can be drank anytime, anywhere.
Additionally, the “Waterworks Research Institute” in Seoul, the government-certified institution for virus inspection, conducts the waterborne virus test of both the water source and tap water (purified water) of six Arisu Water Purification Centers once every three months. Over the past 10 years, there were no reports of viruses being detected in the tap water.
Currently, the six Arisu Water Purification Centers in Seoul are using continuous measurement instruments for real-time monitoring of the filtration process (turbidity) and disinfection process (residual chlorine), making sure their performances meet the water treatment standards for viruses to supply safe tap water.