Ebola prompts questions to utilities

The recent Ebola cases in the United States have raised questions about protocols for worker safety at wastewater treatment facilities and general public health associated with water treatment operations. We have requested guidance from both EPA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in determining if there are additional protective or treatment protocols to consider or implement.

CDC’s website does carry information on Ebola control in a hospital environment, including a response to the question, "Is it safe for Ebola patients to use the bathroom?" The question is addressed this way: "Yes. Sanitary sewers may be used for the safe disposal of patient waste. Additionally, sewage handling processes (e.g., anaerobic digestion, composting, disinfection) in the United States are designed to inactivate infectious agents." However, there is not information specifically targeted to water and wastewater treatment professionals.
As additional information becomes available from leading public health agencies, AWWA will keep you informed through the Water Utility Insider and utility advisories.

Canadian Water and Wastewater Association