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Nix The Bottles – Drinking From Your Faucet Is Safe, San Jose Water Official Says

SAN JOSE (KPIX) -- For the past few days, many people have been running out to their neighborhood grocery stores and buying up as much bottled water as their shopping carts could hold.

"I'm saying that's unnecessary," said Andy Gere, president and COO of San Jose Water Company.

Gere said people who want safe drinking water should go to their tap.

"A glass of water from your tap is safe, it's continuous. It's always there and it's one less trip to the supermarket which puts yourself at, probably, some risk."

Gere said tap water is treated to specifically remove viruses and other contaminants.

"Chlorine, chloramine, ozone -- all those techniques are designed specifically to in-activate pathogens including virus."

The United States EPA, Center for Disease Control and the World Health Organization have all confirmed that drinking water is not a source of COVID-19 transmission and the drinking water is safe, according to Gere.

San Jose Water's administrative staff is working from home during this time.

It's technical crews are staying on the job but they are taking extra safety steps, like keeping distance between workers and driving in separate vehicles while they work.

"All of our treatment processes are monitored online to make sure that filtration and disinfection is doing the job that it's supposed to do," Gere said adding that tap water is tested more frequently than bottled water.

"Some bottled water is tested as infrequently as once a year whereas we're doing it on a daily and continuous basis," he said.

There may be a perception problem fighting against tap water but water providers say they are fighting to change that, one glass at a time.

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