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  • 1.  Wastewater monitoring of COVID-19 variants and case loads

    Posted 02-06-2022 11:07 AM
    Edited by Tirza Austin 02-06-2022 09:55 PM
    There's apparently a pandemic mystery in New York : Unknown coronavirus variants keep showing up in certain wastewater samples but never in human testing. It may not be easy to find the sources--the city has over 7,400 miles of sewer pipes, 135,000 catch basins, and 95 wastewater pumping stations.

    It's a relatively new field in environmental engineering, this use of wastewater to track infectious diseases. The CDC has added a wastewater tracker for changes in case rates on its COVID site, although data collection is scant. Here is some background info on the effort.

    Has anyone experience with this type of investigations? How easy do you think it will be to track down the source of the unknown variants?

    P.S. I have been very fortunate with respect to the pandemic (2 cases among relatives), but I know many who got sick (my primary physician was one of the very first in the region to be hospitalized) and some separated by one degree who were less fortunate (a former colleague lost his wife early on when she caught the virus in the hospital after an organ transplant).

    Tsee Lee, A.M.ASCE
    City of New York
    Long Island City, NY

  • 2.  RE: Wastewater monitoring of COVID-19 variants and case loads

    Posted 05-14-2022 10:24 AM
      |   view attached
    Dear Tsee,

    We have a Global Science Exchange session on Trends in Wastewater-Based Epidemiology: Current Uses and Future Opportunities. You can join us to learn about the latest research on the topic and further discussion. 
    More info: https://sites.google.com/view/globalscienceexchange/gse 
    Have a great weekend,
    Nur H. Orak

    Nur Orak Ph.D.
    Assistant Professor
    Marmara University Dept of Environmental Engineeri


    WBE_second_GSE.pdf   736 KB 1 version

  • 3.  RE: Wastewater monitoring of COVID-19 variants and case loads

    Posted 05-16-2022 11:08 AM
    Hi Tsee,

    A colleague of mine shared this with me from the Philadelphia Water Department. Perhaps you will find it interesting as well. https://www.inquirer.com/health/coronavirus/covid-wastewater-testing-philadelphia-cases-predictions-20220412.html

    Christopher Seigel P.E., M.ASCE
    Civil Engineer

  • 4.  RE: Wastewater monitoring of COVID-19 variants and case loads

    Posted 05-18-2022 08:02 AM
    Thank you for the informative article, Chris. It appears that wastewater results are not necessarily a leading indicator, and vary depending on vaccination rates, how variants shed, and the progression to disease of a variant.

    Tsee Lee, A.M.ASCE
    United States
    New York, NY