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COVID-19 Updates

Posted on: June 29, 2020

Willits Drinking Water and COVID-19

On June 16th, the City of Willits contracted with Biobot to test the City’s "influent" for COVID-19. This test found there to be traces of the virus present in a concentration of "286,408 copies per liter of sewage".

Influent (aka "wastewater") is the sewage that comes from everyone’s homes and businesses before it goes into the treatment plant to be treated. Once it is treated, it is released, but it is not released into our water supply or anywhere near our actual water supply.

By testing our sewage, we confirmed that someone, or some people, who had flushed within the City in or around June 16, 2020, had COVID-19. We are trying to find out from the company what this concentration actually means for the City of Willits and if we can estimate how many people have the virus from this concentration. We do not yet have this information.

Our water supply has nothing to do with our wastewater system. Our wastewater is NOT released into our water supply, even after treatment. Our drinking water is beautiful clean water that comes from the eel river watershed, then goes through substantial treatment under very strict state and federal standards, before it comes to your home. As we have stated before, incidents of brown water come from iron sediment in old pipe and have nothing to do with purity. Residents do not have to worry about COVID-19 in their drinking water. It is NOT THERE. COVID-19 residue is found from people -- using the bathroom -- and it is not in our water supply.

This link from the EPA explains: 

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