American Water Reassures Customers Worried about Swine Flu

American Water Works Company, Inc. communicated to its customers on April 27 that influenza viruses, including swine flu, are effectively removed by filtration and disinfection.

"In the United States, federal and state drinking water regulations require filtration and disinfection of all surface water supplies (e.g., those from lakes, reservoirs, or rivers). These regulations specify specific treatment requirements for removal and inactivation of viruses," said Mark W. LeChevallier, Ph.D., director of Innovation & Environmental Stewardship for American Water.

"Because influenza viruses, including swine influenza A (H1N1), are more susceptible to disinfection than most enteric viruses (like Poliovirus, Hepatitis A, or Norovirus), and the influenza viruses are slightly larger and more effectively removed by filtration, current drinking water treatment barriers provide a high degree of protection from 'swine flu.' We want to reassure our customers that they do not need to be concerned about the safety of properly treated drinking water with respect to swine influenza A," he added.