What we know today (4/16/20)
WEF is continuing to work on the matter of wastewater worker protection from disease causing microorganisms and pathogens, in general — especially via aerosols — by forming a Blue Ribbon Panel to address the issue of required personal protective equipment and protective work and hygiene practices.
To date, the scientific community has found no evidence of viable COVID-19 virus in wastewater systems.
Current efforts to elucidate numbers of infections in the community and support public health surveillance have relied on detecting the virus in wastewater using molecular techniques that identify genetic material (RNA), but this method does not assess virus viability or infectivity. Further, there is currently no epidemiological evidence that wastewater is a route of transmission.
While there is still a lot we don’t know, it appears that contracting COVID-19 through exposure to wastewater is unlikely.
Visit WEF’s info page at WEF.org/coronavirus