Description: Translating Wastewater Surveillance Data
Monitoring wastewater through the regular collection and analysis of wastewater samples for pathogens and chemicals has been used for decades to support public health decisions around the globe. In the 1940s, environmental virologists at Yale University used WBE by culturing cell assays to monitor for the presence of poliovirus in communities. This approach enabled public health professionals to...
PublisherWater Environment Federation
Word count261
Description: Translating Wastewater Surveillance Data
For the virus that causes COVID-19, RNA is shed from symptomatic and asymptomatic COVID-19 cases in saliva, sputum, urine, and feces. These multiple shedding routes and evidence from other coronaviruses suggested early on that the likelihood of COVID-19 virus RNA detection in wastewater and collection systems is high.
PublisherWater Environment Federation
Word count353
Description: Translating Wastewater Surveillance Data
While, to date, many wastewater samples have been collected and analyzed for COVID-19 RNA, the results seldomly have been used to inform public health actions. Three main factors are hindering using this data:
PublisherWater Environment Federation
Word count131
Description: Translating Wastewater Surveillance Data
Many organizations have suggested that successful WBE-based public health decision-making requires cooperation between three main multi-disciplinary groups of collaborators with different expertise, perspectives, and priorities: the sample provider, the data producer, and the knowledge users (see Figure 1, left). The Water Research Foundation (WRF; Denver) acknowledged this interdependence...
PublisherWater Environment Federation
Word count450
Description: Translating Wastewater Surveillance Data
Figure 2 (p. 32) outlines the four critical elements of a successful WBE program: Sampling design, method validation, knowledge translation, and communication plan. Each element also contains several factors that should be considered when creating or participating in a WBE program.
PublisherWater Environment Federation
Word count47
Description: Translating Wastewater Surveillance Data
The importance of collecting a representative sample with a comprehensive and informative set of associated data cannot be overemphasized. Many WRRFs support on-site laboratories for regulatory testing (e.g., fecal indicator bacteria), but molecular biology and associated testing techniques are not common in these laboratories.
PublisherWater Environment Federation
Word count1,476
Description: Translating Wastewater Surveillance Data
To use WBE as an effective early warning system, virus nucleic acid recovery and concentration methods must be sufficiently effective and sensitive enough to detect very low levels in a wastewater sample. This can be challenging since most methods were historically optimized for the more resilient non-enveloped viruses, but COVID-19 virus is an enveloped virus and potentially sensitive to various...
PublisherWater Environment Federation
Word count685
Description: Translating Wastewater Surveillance Data
Whether the chosen WBE approach aims to provide qualitative or semi-quantitative results, wastewater surveillance needs to reliably make connections between the measured COVID-19 virus RNA concentrations at the WRRF, hydrological and environmental conditions, COVID-19 RNA concentrations shed per capita, the burden of infection in the population served, and the size of the contributing population.
PublisherWater Environment Federation
Word count452
Description: Translating Wastewater Surveillance Data
Content, platform, and frequency. Timely, transparent, and open communication among all collaborators will be critical to WBE effort success. The data producers should determine preferred result reporting platforms and communication practices of all team members. This should include a discussion about types of results communicated (RNA concentrations versus trends), communication platform...
PublisherWater Environment Federation
Word count455
Description: Translating Wastewater Surveillance Data
WBE is not a new public health decision support tool, but the current mobilization scale and standardization of COVID-19 wastewater surveillance efforts have surpassed all previous attempts to monitor infectious agents in wastewater. How these efforts could be translated to meet the constantly evolving infection transmission dynamics of a large city, like Los Angeles or Toronto, remains a dauting,...
PublisherWater Environment Federation
Word count534