To provide our community with important public safety information, our newsroom is making stories related to the coronavirus free to read. To support important local journalism like this, please consider becoming a digital subscriber.

As shoppers clear shelves of water bottles and filters at Walmart and elsewhere, public utility, environmental and health officials assure tap water is and will remain safe to drink during the coronavirus outbreak.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the state health department and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency insist the risk to drinking water is low.

“Americans can continue to use and drink water from their tap as usual,” EPA says on its website. “Coronavirus, which causes COVID-19, is a type of virus that is particularly susceptible to disinfection and standard treatment and disinfectant processes are expected to be effective.

The utility systems follow strict regulations for disinfection, Samantha Senger, spokeswoman for the city of Cocoa, said Thursday via email.

“There is nothing from the CDC, Department of Health or EPA that would suggest such a thing,” Senger said of people buying bottled water and filters because of the new virus.

The World Health Organization (WHO) says, “presence of the COVID-19 virus has not been detected in drinking-water supplies and based on current evidence the risk to water supplies is low.”

“Currently, there is no evidence about the survival of the COVID-19 virus in drinking-water or sewage,” WHO says in its March 3 technical guidance on water, sanitation and health care waste….