Water is one thing that we drink every day, but have you ever thought that the
water we drink may affect our health?
Transmission of pathogens occurs in many ways, and they are not limited to direct
human-to-human transmission. Pathogens, including viruses, are capable of transmission through environmental
pathways. The common carriers include air, inert surfaces, or liquid media. Most viruses associated with liquid
transmission are transmitted through water.
What are waterborne viruses?
Though bacteria are known as the major causes of diarrhea transmitted through
contaminated drinking water, the WHO has classified viruses like adenovirus, astrovirus, hepatitis A and E
viruses, rotavirus, norovirus, and other caliciviruses from moderate to high health significance.
are waterborne viruses that can be spread by drinking, bathing, washing, or eating food
exposed to contaminated water. Exposure to waterborne viruses can lead to diarrhea as well as other symptoms
including abdominal cramping, vomiting, and fever.
How do viruses get into the water?
The feces and urine of an infected human or animal can transmit viruses into the
water. The wastes enter the water via numerous paths include sewage overflows, and can pollute the water when
the sewage systems are not working properly. The private wells that are shallow, or have been dug or bored, are
especially vulnerable to such viruses contamination.
Moreover, viruses can also be transmitted into our drinking water through
inhalation or contact with the skin and eyes. Daily activities like showering or swimming are examples of such
risk of contamination.
Almost all forms of water can be contaminated by viruses: surface freshwater such
as lakes and rivers, groundwater, estuaries and seawater, and even glaciers. For example, the Enteroviruses have
been found in 72% of groundwater tables in the United States.
Does coronavirus spread through water?
Coronavirus has been suggested as an organism that can be transmitted through
drinking water. Coronavirus
spreads when an
infected person exhales droplets and tiny particles that contain the virus.
These droplets and particles can be inhaled by other people or land on their eyes,
nose, or mouth. In some cases, they can contaminate the surfaces they touch. People who are within 6 feet of an
infected person are most likely to be infected.
As a variant of the coronavirus, the Omicron virus was recently found in wastewater
in California. You can refer to this blog for more information.
How to remove viruses from water?
Below are the common ways to remove viruses from drinking water.
You can bring your water to a rolling boil for at least one minute to kill
inactivated viruses. However, high-temperature sterilization is not completely reliable, as it needs to reach a
certain temperature and time. This method can only kill the harmful bacteria and viruses in the water, other
impurities and organic pollutants will remain in the boiling water, and it is easy to produce scale.
You can remove the viruses in water through distillation. When water boils through
a heating source, it forms water vapor, which rises and touches the cold container surface. Then the water vapor
condenses into pure water, which can effectively remove the virus from the water. The shortage of this method is
energy and time consuming. You would need to wait for a long time for the whole process to be completed. Besides
that, the distillation equipment for home use is limited.
Water disinfection using chlorine is another popular method to kill viruses in the
water. This is also the major water treatment method used in the city municipal water system. In order to
achieve the disinfection result, a large amount of chlorine would be added. Yet, to avoid microbial
contamination during the transmission of the pipe network to the user, there would be a residual chlorine
content in the tap water, so the tap water often has a chlorine smell and bad taste.
Ultrafiltration is a popular water filtration method using an ultrafiltration
membrane. The working mechanism is using standard home water pressure to force water through a hollow fiber
membrane, which traps viruses, bacteria, chlorine, algae, and metals and gets clean water and minerals to pass
The reverse osmosis technology is by far the most effective and secured water
filtration method. Similar to ultrafiltration, a reverse osmosis system pushes water through a semipermeable
membrane to filter water. The pore size of a reverse osmosis membrane is approximately 0.0001 micron whereas the
size of a virus is about 0.1 micron.
A RO system is known for its high effectiveness in removing viruses like Enteric,
Hepatitis A, Norovirus, Rotavirus, and other waterborne viruses.
Tankless Under Sink RO System with UV Sterilizing Light - Waterdrop G3P800
The Waterdrop G3 reverse osmosis system comes with a 7-stage deep filtration
technology to reduce the most harmful contaminants in your water, such as bacteria, viruses, heavy metals, and
total dissolved solids. Coronavirus, for example, can be perfectly removed by this system.
G3P800 is also equipped with UV
light, which can effectively filter 99% of bacteria and viruses. The UV sterilizing light
of the system brings another layer of protection to your drinking water. Unlike traditional mercury vapor, LED
sterilization is safer because LED sterilization does not release any harmful substances (such as heavy metals)
into your water during or after filtration.
Besides that, the composite filter design can not only remove water impurities but
also improve water taste by getting rid of bad taste and odor in the water. Learn more differences
between ultrafiltration and reverse osmosis
I hope you would find this article helpful in terms of waterborne viruses and how
to access safe drinking water. With the ongoing global epidemic, you should pay extra attention to your drinking
water safety to protect yourself and your loved ones.