ARCHIVED WEBPAGE: This web page is available for historical purposes. CDC is no longer updating this web page and it may not reflect CDC's current COVID-19 guidance. For the latest information, visit CDC's COVID-19 home page.
Information for Sanitation and Wastewater Workers on COVID-19
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides resources to assist employers and workers identify COVID-19 exposure risks and help them take appropriate steps to prevent exposure and infection. See the OSHA Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) topic pageexternal icon for the most current requirements, guidance, and tools.
Recently, ribonucleic acid (RNA) from the virus that causes COVID-19 has been found in untreated wastewater. While data are limited, there is little evidence of infectious virus in wastewater, and no information to date that anyone has become sick with COVID-19 because of exposure to wastewater.
Standard practices associated with wastewater treatment plant operations should be sufficient to protect wastewater workers from the virus that causes COVID-19. These standard practices can include engineering and administrative controls, hygiene precautions, specific safe work practices, and personal protective equipment (PPE) normally required when handling untreated wastewater. No additional COVID-19–specific protections are recommended for workers involved in wastewater management, including those at wastewater treatment facilities.
- CDC: Guidance for reducing health risks to workers handling human waste or sewage
- CDC: Water and COVID FAQs
- CDC: Sanitation and Wastewater
- CDC: Waste Management
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration: COVID-19 Control and Prevention: Solid waste and wastewater management workers and employersexternal icon