The spread of Covid-19 across the globe has already fueled an abundance of misinformation and rumors. From fake cures to hoaxes, these incorrect tidbits circulating the internet have caused more panic and hysteria. One such rumor is the idea that coronavirus can spread from person to person through plumbing systems, especially in high-rise buildings. However, modern plumbing codes have made such a scenario nearly impossible.
Extra Strain on Plumbing
Because of shelter-in-place orders and other restrictions designed to curb the spread of Covid-19, many residential plumbing systems are under high strain. Although this may increase the chances of sewage backups and other plumbing issues, modern plumbing fixtures and practices exponentially limit the chances of the spread of disease.
The Spread of Covid-19 Through Plumbing Rumor
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS, was a viral infection that spread throughout the globe in the early 2000s. Because of the severity of the pandemic and its potential to cause mass fatalities, Covid-19 has been routinely compared to the SARS outbreak. However, one particular instance has caused members of the public to become concerned about the spread of Covid-19 via plumbing systems.
In 2003, defective plumbing caused SARS to spread through a high-rise housing complex in Jordan, leading to 300 infections and 42 deaths. This event has caused rumors that Covid-19 can spread similarly. Such information is 100% false. Due to improved plumbing practices and codes, such an outbreak is impossible in the United States. Despite the unlikeliness of the spread of disease in the United States, other countries that don’t follow codes may increase the chance of Covid-19 transmission via plumbing.
The International Plumbing Code
Developed by public health experts and engineers, the International Plumbing Code (IPC) sets the mandatory minimum requirements for plumbing system installation in the United States. Updated in 2019, the IPC protects the residents, workers, and inhabitants in residential and commercial buildings by providing safeguards against raw sewage, contaminated water, and the spread of disease.
The IPC covers:
- Backflow prevention.
- Anti-scalding devices.
- Wastewater management.
- Pipe sizing.
By addressing these issues, every building in the United States has a level of safety that ensures citizens won’t contract any disease as a result of using their plumbing.
Express Plumbing a division of EPS Inc. has been serving the Bay Area for multiple decades. We focus on preventative care measures and work with local municipalities to rehabilitate existing systems, residential and commercial partners throughout the South Bay. This effort avoids emergencies from arising and we are the emergency response plumbers to rely on. We simply get it done!
How to Avoid Covid-19 Misinformation and Rumors
Before believing any social media-based information, online articles, or other word-of-mouth, you should conduct a background check of the idea in question. Snopes and FactCheck.org are two of the more reputable options online for identifying truth and misconception regarding Covid-19. In addition, you should always seek out information from reputable sources, including the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), as well as the official web pages or social media accounts of local, state, and federal governments.
Contracting Covid-19 is a concern of many Americans. But by maintaining proper social distancing guidelines, following shelter-in-place procedures, and ignoring untrustworthy news sites, you can separate fact from fiction. By doing so, you can eliminate unsubstantiated fears and use your toilet, shower, and sink without fear of coronavirus contamination.
As an essential plumbing service provider in the Bay Area. We continue to service our municipal, commercial and residential customers. We’ve advised our employees to follow the public health authorities’ guidance regarding hygiene, social distancing and personal travel, and we’ve reinforced existing company policy encouraging employees who exhibit flu-like symptoms to stay home and consult with a medical professional.
We are here to serve our community as always and you can rely on us as your Bay Area emergency response plumbers.