Every OCWA employee is committed to providing safe, reliable water services to meet your public health and safety needs during this difficult period. Our thoughts are with everyone who has been impacted.

Your tap water is safe to drink
We want to reassure you that your tap water is both safe to drink and reliable. There is no reason to believe that COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus, will have any impact on the local water supply.

Read our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) below for information regarding your water supply and COVID-19.  Email questions to jbrown@ocwa.org or call 315-455-7061 extension 3115.

Frequently asked questions about water supply and COVID-19

  1. Can COVID-19 (coronavirus) get into my drinking water?

The Novel Coronavirus, COVID-19, does not present a threat to the safety of your drinking water. COVID-19 is transmitted person-to-person, not through water, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

OCWA delivers clean, reliable surface water to its customers from Lake Ontario, Otisco Lake and Skaneateles Lake.  Chlorine used to kill viruses, including coronavirus, as well as bacteria and other pathogens is added to your tap water as a precautionary disinfectant.

OCWA’s staff continuously monitors the public water systems and they collect samples that are tested in OCWA’s state-certified laboratories to ensure tap water meets or surpasses all state and federal drinking water regulations.

  1. Can OCWA continue treating and delivering water if COVID-19 spreads?

OCWA maintains an extensive system of water treatment plants, water storage facilities and pipelines to deliver safe and reliable water service to customers. The system includes multiple layers of redundancy to ensure continued deliveries, even during a disruption.

OCWA has a Continuity of Operations Plan and Emergency Response Plan for situations such as a pandemic. Senior management is also meeting regularly to discuss preparedness and protocol tactics.

In addition, OCWA has taken several steps to protect the health of its employees by minimizing potential exposure to avoid widespread impacts to our workforce.

Lastly, OCWA has ensured it has the necessary backup equipment, essential supplies and treatment chemicals in the event of disruptions to the supply chain for these items.

  1. Do I need to stockpile bottled water?

We want to reassure you that your tap water is both safe to drink and reliable. There is no reason to believe that COVID-19 will have any impact on the local water supply.  “Americans can continue to use and drink water from their tap as usual.” (Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) at https://www.epa.gov/coronavirus/coronavirus-and-drinking-water-and-wastewater

One of the primary ways to minimize the spread of this disease is to practice social distancing and reduce unnecessary outings. The public is encouraged to stay home, and avoid panic shopping and stockpiling bottled water. OCWA’s tap water remains high quality and available.

  1. Do I need to install a water filter?

Drinking water provided by OCWA meets all federal and state water quality standards. Water filters may change the taste of tap water, but this is a personal choice and a filter is not necessary.

Be cautious of any person who claims that OCWA sent him or her to test your water. OCWA would never send a person to your home without your prior knowledge.  Also be wary of those who test your water and claim that your water quality is unsafe.

  1. Are OCWA’s offices still open for business?

OCWA offices are closed to the public following public health recommendations regarding physical distancing, but we are still working to support our customers online and by phone.

We encourage our customers to manage their  accounts online as most service-related needs can be requested online or by calling 315-455-7061.  We also ask anyone doing business with the OCWA to do so by telephone, email, or online at www.OCWA.org.

  1. Where can I learn more about COVID-19 and water?

EPA: “Americans can continue to use and drink water from their tap as usual.”  Learn more at www.epa.gov

CDC: “The COVID-19 virus has not been detected in drinking water. Conventional water treatment methods that use filtration and disinfection, such as those in most municipal drinking water systems, should remove or inactivate the virus that causes COVID-19.” Learn more at www.cdc.gov

County Website: Extensive information about how COVID-19 is impacting your local area can be found on your county web site: Onondaga County, Oswego County, Madison County, Oneida County or Cayuga County.

OCWA offices are closed to the public following state recommendations but we are still working to support our customers by phone, email, or online. 

Apply for service, stop service, update account information or pay your bill

Start or stop service online, manage your account or pay your bill anytime. You can also view billing and payment history, set up autopay and establish notifications.

Pay your bill using our automated telephone system at any time by calling 877-768-8266 and selecting option 1. Please be sure to have your customer number and account number.

Leave payments in the drop box (no cash payments please)

North Syracuse – Parking lot of our headquarters at 200 Northern Concourse

Email service-related questions to CustomerService@OCWA.org or call 315-455-7061.

Your water is our promise

Our employees continue to work day and night to keep your water flowing uninterrupted.