21.04.2020 Europe

'Minuscule traces' of coronavirus found in non-potable Paris water

© AFP/Ludovic Marin
LISTEN APR 21, 2020
© AFP/Ludovic Marin

City officials in Paris have reportedly found "minuscule traces" of the new coronavirus in non-potable water such as the supply used for cleaning streets. Drinking water, however, is at no risk of contamination, the city administration said on Sunday.

The Paris water authority's laboratory detected tiny amounts of the virus in four of 27 samples collected from around the capital, leading to an immediate shutdown of the network as a precaution, Celia Blauel told French news agency AFP.

Drinking water is supplied from a "totally independent" network and "can be consumed without any risk," Blauel, the city's top environmental official, said.

Non-potable water
Non-potable water, drawn from the Seine River and the Ourcq canal, is used to clean streets and to water the greenery in the city's parks and gardens, currently closed to the public, as well as supplying their ornamental fountains.

The city of Paris is consulting the regional health agency for a risk analysis before deciding how to proceed, Blauel said.

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