Twice a week, mathematics professor Andrea Bruder squats in the sewage tunnels below South Hall, a mostly freshman dorm at Colorado College. She wears head-to-toe protective gear and holds a plastic ladle in one hand and a to-go coffee cup in the other. Bruder hovers above an opening in a large metal pipe and patiently waits for a student to flush.
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.