LA City Officials: Tap Water Still Safe To Drink, Even As Coronavirus Spreads

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Those who live in the city of Los Angeles don’t need to stockpile bottled water in the midst of growing fears about the spread of COVID-19, city officials urged Thursday.

The L.A. Department of Water and Power reminded residents that their tap water is safe to drink, even as the coronavirus spreads.

“There is no threat to your public drinking water supply and no need to use bottled water,” the department said in a statement. “LADWP’s treatment processes are specifically designed to protect the public from all viruses and harmful bacteria.”

L.A. water goes through several treatments before reaching customers’ taps, including filtration, ultraviolet light, and chlorine disinfection, according to the statement.

Mayor Eric Garcetti echoed the LADWP’s statement during the city’s daily coronavirus update, reminding locals that they do not need to worry about the quality of water in their homes.

“By the way, you don’t need to buy water,” he said as he gave a list of helpful ways that people in L.A. can prepare and stay safe. “If you live in the city of Los Angeles, Department of Water and Power water is, even long before this crisis, is actually cleaner than bottled water and is clean today.”

MORE: Latest Coronavirus Updates

Garcetti urged residents to unite during the statewide public health emergency and not let fear cloud their judgment.

“Don’t lose your heads,” he said. “Offer help, say thanks to those on the front lines, and be smart.”

During the press conference, Garcetti also announced a number of protocols the city is putting in place to try to mitigate the spread of coronavirus, including a ban on all city gatherings of 50 people or more, and all events or conferences at city-owned properties expected to attract more than 50 people.

L.A. County’s chief health officer Dr. Barbara Ferrer also urged all private groups and businesses to voluntarily cancel any large gatherings and reminded members of the public who feel sick to stay home.

Garcetti’s order follows new statewide guidelines issued by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday night, which details new California Department of Public Health policy that includes guidance to cancel or postpone all gatherings of 250 people or more, along with additional direction on protecting public health and slowing the spread of COVID-19.