Tag Archive for: sewage treatment

San Diego Starts Monitoring Wastewater For Virus

San Diego is participating in a statewide program to monitor its untreated wastewater for the virus that causes COVID-19, it was announced Tuesday.

City staff have been monitoring for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, or SARS-CoV-2, in untreated wastewater at the Point Loma Wastewater Treatment Plant this month.

Why Wastewater Testing is Critical in the Fight Against COVID-19

Almost certainly you’ve seen headlines about wastewater treatment plants around North America joining the fight against COVID-19 by testing wastewater in an effort to predict viral hotspots. Our industry is well positioned to be a key player in the fight through this kind of routine testing during the pandemic.

Researchers have confirmed that the COVID-19 virus can be detected in the untreated waste of positive patients, and numerous treatment facilities across the U.S. are taking advantage of that and working to help track the spread of the outbreak.

As Some States Reopen, Studying Sewage Could Help Stop the Coronavirus Pandemic

In hundreds of cities across the USA, scientists hope monitoring systems will provide an early warning if coronavirus infections reemerge as communities in some states cautiously reopen.

These monitors don’t rely on testing patients or tracing contacts.

All that’s required? Human waste.

Over the past few months, private companies and university researchers have partnered with communities to collect sewage at treatment plants and test it for the presence of the novel coronavirus. The results are reported to municipal governments and state health officials to help them monitor the situation.

Testing wastewater can reveal evidence of the coronavirus and show whether it’s increasing or decreasing in a community, said Ian Pepper, a professor and co-director of the University of Arizona’s Water and Energy Sustainable Technology Center, one of the groups tracking the virus through different municipal sewage systems.

Latest Raw Sewage Testing at Special Districts Facilities Does Not Detect Virus That Causes COVID-19

The latest testing of raw sewage at Lake County Special Districts’ four treatment facilities found no presence of the virus that causes COVID-19 at any of the plants late in April, despite the fact that samples earlier in the month confirmed its presence.

Special Districts Administrator Jan Coppinger reported Friday that she received the latest test results from Biobot, a Massachusetts firm that is offering the testing as part of a pro bono program it’s conducting along with MIT, Harvard and Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

The tests are used to detect the presence of SARS-Cov-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The virus is shed in the stools of infected people.

Sewage testing also has successfully tracked the poliovirus and consumption of drugs such as opioids, according to Dr. Mariana Matus, chief executive officer and cofounder of Biobot.

Biobot is seeking to use wastewater testing to proactively detect outbreaks and help governments and communities to get ahead of public health crises like the COVID-19 pandemic.