How to Remove Viruses from Water

Posted by
Freeman Linton

How to Remove viruses from water

Updated March 18, 2020

Now that the Coronavirus has been declared a global pandemic, many of us have questions about how to protect ourselves from possible exposure?

How is Covid-19 Transmitted?

medical professional in a lab

The highly-contagious Covid-19 virus has an incubation period of two weeks, which enables the virus to be spread easily, resulting in mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough and difficulty breathing.

To date, there is  no indication that Covid-19 spreads through water, but mainly through air and surface contact. Because animals played a part in the spread of MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome) and the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) coronaviruses, the World Health Organization (WHO) is closely watching to see if animals play a part in transmitting the virus, as well.

Some Viruses Are Spread by Water

water spout with viruses in the water drop

Some viruses, such as meningitis, hepatitis, gastroenteritis, conjunctivitis, SARs, hepatitis A, hepatitis E, and Typhoid can spread through water. 

Waterborne viruses and bacteria cause hundreds of millions of people to become afflicted with diseases each year, simply because they ingested contaminated water. 

WHO considers water-transmitted viral pathogens to be significant health concern.

Today, many people are searching for ways to ensure their drinking water is safe from water-borne viruses and bacteria. UV disinfection is a relatively inexpensive way to ensure water at every faucet in the household is virus free. 

How to Remove Viruses from Drinking Water

A UV water disinfection system can destroy 99.99% of harmful microorganisms (bacteria, viruses, cysts) to ensure all water in a home is free of viruses and bacteria 24/7.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) site states: "Ultraviolet Light (UV Light) can be used as a pathogen reduction method against some microorganisms. The technology requires effective prefiltering due to its dependence on low water turbidity (cloudiness), the correct power delivery, and correct contact times to achieve maximum pathogen reduction. Manufacturer’s instructions must be followed."

Many people choose to install a UV system as an added layer of protection, even if a home receives water from the city, because the public water system is often vulnerable to impurities leaching in. UV disinfection is considered to be a safe, economical, and a chemical-free way of disinfecting your water.

The UV system's effectiveness is dependent on correct system sizing and low sediment and turbidity/cloudiness in the water. A prefilter before a UV system, such as included in the combo VIQUA IHS22-D4 UV system, can help remove sediment and cloudiness so that UV light can effectively inactivate viruses.

Preparing for Emergencies

Photo of the Outback Filtration system in the wilderness

The US Government recommends that to prepare for a pandemic, households store a 2-week supply of water and food.

The Outback Emergency Water Filtration system has the right filters to protect against the Coronavirus and other microorganisms, and has been used worldwide for 25+ years by relief organizations such as the Red Cross and Peace Corps.

The Outback meet US EPA standards for virus reduction and requires no electricity to operate.

If you have questions about how to ensure viruses are removed from your household water or want to know more about water filtration during times of emergencies, give us a call at 877-377-9876 (Mon-Fri, 8 am to 5 pm CT).