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WQA supports EPA position that water employees are essential workers during COVID-19 pandemic

Association participates in discussions with EPA on water issues

LISLE, Ill. (March 27, 2020) – The Water Quality Association supports the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s request of all U.S. governors that drinking water employees be considered essential workers when state authorities enact restrictions such as “shelter in place” orders to curb the spread of COVID-19. 

WQA Global Governmental Affairs Director David Loveday participated in a conference call with EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler today to discuss national water issues, including Wheeler’s letter to the governors urging them to ensure that drinking water employees receive essential worker status.

 “The EPA recognizes the role of the water treatment industry in assuring our nation has access to a safe, clean and reliable water supply throughout the crisis,” Loveday said.  He said the conference call included perspectives of major water utilities, rural water associations, nationwide chemical groups, the supply chain and manufacturers.

EPA has assured the public that the COVID-19 virus has not been detected in drinking water supplies and, based on current evidence, the risk to water supplies is low. 

WQA members provide water treatment solutions for homeowners, small businesses, commercial users, hospitals and health care institutions, industrial users and manufacturers as well as private well users and small water systems operators. WQA has posted resources and helpful information for its members regarding COVID-19 on the association’s website.

In addition to WQA, representatives of major association involved in providing drinking water to the public participated in today’s call:

  •  American Water Works Association
  • Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies
  • Rural Community Assistance Partnership
  • American Chemistry Council
  • U.S. Chamber of Commerce
  • National Lime Association
  • Boston Water and Sewer
  • Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District
  • City of Atlanta Department of Watershed
  • DC Water
  • Water and Wastewater Equipment Manufacturers Association
  • National Rural Water Association


WQA is a not-for-profit trade association representing the residential, commercial, and industrial water treatment industry. WQA’s education and professional certification programs have been providing industry-standardized training and credentialing since 1977.  The WQA Gold Seal certification program has been certifying products that contribute to the safe consumption of water since 1959. The WQA Gold Seal program is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Standards Council of Canada (SCC).