The Water Research Foundation convened the International Water Research Summit on Environmental Surveillance of COVID-19 Indicators in Sewersheds in response to the overwhelming need for information regarding the distribution and prevalence of COVID-19.
The global water sector has mobilized to investigate the use of wastewater surveillance of the genetic signal of SARS CoV-2 as an indicator of the distribution of COVID-19 in communities. This paper presents recommendations of global experts who contributed
to the Summit, including potential uses of wastewater surveillance for tracking COVID-19, sampling design, analytical tools, and communication of results to public health decision makers, the public, and other key stakeholders.
Wastewater surveillance (also called sewershed surveillance or environmental surveillance) is the monitoring of community health indicators of interest by periodically collecting and analyzing wastewater samples from the sewer network for the presence of chemical or microbiological targets.
Note: wastewater surveillance detects the coronavirus RNA, the virus is not expected to be infectious. There is currently no epidemiological evidence that wastewater is a route of transmission.