The occurrence and control of waterborne viruses in drinking water treatment: A review

Li Chen, Yang Deng, Shengkun Dong, Hong Wang, Pan Li, Huaiyu Zhang, Wenhai Chu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


As the coronavirus disease 2019 continues to spread globally, its culprit, the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 has been brought under scrutiny. In addition to inhalation transmission, the possible fecal-oral viral transmission via water/wastewater has also been brought under the spotlight, necessitating a timely global review on the current knowledge about waterborne viruses in drinking water treatment system – the very barrier that intercepts waterborne pathogens to terminal water users. In this article we reviewed the occurrence, concentration methods, and control strategies, also, treatment performance on waterborne viruses during drinking water treatment were summarized. Additionally, we emphasized the potential of applying the quantitative microbial risk assessment to guide drinking water treatment to mitigate the viral exposure risks, especially when the unregulated novel viral pathogens are of concern. This review paves road for better control of viruses at drinking water treatment plants to protect public health.

Original languageEnglish
Article number130728
StatePublished - Oct 2021


  • Conventional and emerging disinfection processes
  • Drinking water treatment
  • Waterborne viruses


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