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Tracking Coronavirus in Wastewater

  • 1.  Tracking Coronavirus in Wastewater

    Posted 04-09-2020 08:06 AM
    Your Poop Might Be Key For Predicting the End of the Pandemic
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    Your Poop Might Be Key For Predicting the End of the Pandemic
    On March 5, there had not yet been a clinical diagnosis of COVID-19 in Amersfoort, a Dutch city of more than 150,000 people to the east of Amsterdam. But underneath Amersfoort's streets, dotted with Medieval buildings, the sewage pipes containing people's fecal matter told another story.
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    https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.04.05.20051540v1.full.pdf



    Boston based company Biobot is studying how Coronavirus can be measured in wastewater.  This could be a means of accurate measure of community infection.  Environmental and public works engineers could play a key role in measuring the risk in any given community.

    Normally, we think of measuring pathogens in drinking water, rather than wastewater.  Is this common practice for engineers or something new to consider going forward?






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    Chad Morrison P.E., M.ASCE
    Professional Engineer
    Greenville RI
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  • 2.  RE: Tracking Coronavirus in Wastewater

    Posted 08-05-2020 09:18 AM
    https://www.wpri.com/news/local-news/south-county/sewage-testing-could-help-ri-pinpoint-future-spikes-in-covid-19/

    Perhaps the best application for wastewater tracing of Covid-19, so far.  The isolation of Block Island makes it a perfect case study.  The virus was not detected until the July 4th holiday.  Engineers should be able to indicate when the island is virus free.

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    Chad Morrison P.E., M.ASCE
    Professional Engineer
    Greenville RI
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  • 3.  RE: Tracking Coronavirus in Wastewater

    Posted 08-06-2020 09:18 AM
    Definitely not new. We've been doing similar things for years for diseases such as small pox, polio, SARS, etc.

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    Michael Devuono P.E., M.ASCE
    Senior Water Engineer
    Arcadis U.S., Inc.
    Philadelphia PA
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  • 4.  RE: Tracking Coronavirus in Wastewater

    Posted 08-07-2020 01:59 PM
    Its also been used to track opioid use in a population. Its much more prevalent outside the US. I heard from an ASCE member Turkey is exploring using wastewater surveillance for Covid-19 tracking. There is a slew of research efforts going on in the US, EPA in Cincinnati, groups out of Arizona State and Michigan State, various WWTP's and several for profit companies. Just read Block Island RI is looking into it being a very isolated community. There are deep discussion going on about the roll WWTP's play in Public Health outside of their normal function. They are not Departments of Health nor the CDC and costs, liabilities and sharing data with the public are challenges. But perhaps the US can figure out how this science can potentially can fit into the public health program.

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    Gregory Scott P.E., F.ASCE
    SENIOR ENGINEER
    CDM Smith
    Pittsburgh PA
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