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Natural disaster emergencies such as tornadoes and hurricanes have the potential to disrupt power supply and the ability to pump water. This is not the case when dealing with a pandemic. The Public Works Department anticipates having continuous electricity to pump water with. Per the Environmental Protection Agency, "The COVID-19 virus has not been detected in drinking-water supplies. Based on current evidence, the risk to water supplies is low. Americans can continue to use and drink water from their tap as usual. "Locally, the treatment plants practice a multiple-barrier technique of treatment to ensure the safety of our water. Disinfection is most important therefore measurements are taken hourly. We do not anticipate any disruption of water services due to COVID-19.
Yes, employees are trained and utilize a variety of masks depending on the type of work being done. In addition to masks, signage has been posted throughout all facilities reminding employees to practice proper hygiene as well as covering these topics during safety meetings. Daily operations have been adjusted to help prevent the spread of a virus, should it occur. All divisions are monitoring supplies and supply vendors to ensure necessary materials and chemicals are on-site as needed. Staff is also monitoring the health of our employees and developing alternative plans to ensure critical services are not interrupted in the event the COVID-19 is spread to Wichita County and our city.
For more information regarding drinking water and COVID-19, follow the CDC’s website here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/php/water.html
The Wichita Falls Health District is actively monitoring the on-going situation. We are in constant communication with local, state and federal agency partners as well as meeting regularly with the community-wide COVID-19 task force. The task force consists of representatives from The Wichita County Health District, City and County officials, Texas Department of Emergency Management, United Regional, Kell West Regional, Wichita Falls and County ISD’s, Midwestern State University, Vernon College, Sheppard Air Force Base, North Texas Area United Way, Nortex Regional Planning Commission and several surrounding community hospitals and healthcare representatives.
In addition, the Wichita Falls Health District has provided guidance recommendations to community partners regarding routine cleaning, disinfection of places of business and preventive actions that businesses can take now.