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COVID-19 for Wastewater Workers

COVID-19 for Wastewater Workers   Coronavirus image
 According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the virus that causes COVID-19 has been found in untreated wastewater. While data are limited, there is no information to date that anyone has become sick with COVID-19 because of exposure to wastewater.

Standard practices associated with wastewater treatment plant operations should be sufficient to protect wastewater workers from the virus that causes COVID-19. These standard practices can include engineering and administrative controls, hygiene precautions, specific safe work practices, and personal protective equipment (PPE) normally required when handling untreated wastewater. No additional COVID-19–specific protections are recommended for workers involved in wastewater management, including those at wastewater treatment facilities.

For more information, visit CDC's website dedicated to this topic at:

SARS-CoV-2 Testing

SARS-CoV-2 is mainly transmitted by person-to-person contact and airborne droplets and aerosols. However, the virus and its genetic material are also excreted through urine and feces. SARS-CoV-2 has been found in wastewater around the world and can be detected three to seven days prior to people developing symptoms or getting a positive diagnosis. Monitoring wastewater systems serves as an early indicator of community outbreaks and provides useful information to public health officials and local decision-makers. Refer to the resources below for additional information on the importance and usefulness of wastewater sampling, it’s not only about compliance.

What You Need To Know About In-House Wastewater-Based Epidemiology Testing  

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Since early 2020, we have learned a lot about COVID-19 and the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes it. But presymptomatic and asymptomatic transmission, plus gaps in testing and contact tracing, have made it hard to pinpoint the virus and take appropriate protective action against outbreaks. Here’s how streamlined sampling and testing protocols are making in-house wastewater testing one of the least-invasive early warning systems available.

Using qPCR Wastewater Testing To Pinpoint Potential COVID-19 Outbreaks 

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Health officials who are aware of how quickly the pandemic landscape can change in terms of local infection rates, virus mutations, and evolving public health protocols are turning to timely wastewater testing to detect the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus as an indicator of COVID-19 spread. Here is how one technology is delivering quicker, easier, and more reliable onsite detection capabilities in as little as two hours.

Planning Better Wastewater Sampling For Better COVID-19 Insight 

Photo of wastewater sample being gatheredEven with the most precise analytical techniques and instruments, representative sampling is still key to reliable wastewater monitoring and wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) process control. For those facing specific challenges in monitoring the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19, here are guidelines that can make the difference between simply documenting a community’s exposure and playing a key role in protecting its future.

Wastewater Testing Charts Path Through COVID-19 Minefield   
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Early efforts at wastewater testing for the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 revolved around university researchers who had knowledge of quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) technology and the laboratory equipment to carry it out. One university has capitalized on a total wastewater monitoring solution to protect its community and, in the process, has created a blueprint for other communities to do the same.

National Wastewater Surveillance System (NWSS) – a new public health tool to understand COVID-19 spread in a community | CDC   The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), in collaboration with agencies throughout the federal government, are initiating the National Wastewater Surveillance System (NWSS) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The data generated by NWSS will help public health officials to better understand the extent of COVID-19 infections ...