Clarkson professor launches wastewater surveillance program to detect coronavirus

Oct 13, 2020


Nasal tests are the leading way health officials are finding and containing coronavirus cases before they spread. But there’s another way to catch the virus early. It shows up in people’s poop.

A new initiative by researchers at Clarkson University is monitoring sewage to test for traces of COVID-19.

Shane Rogers is walking in front of a Clarkson University dormitory with some geese hanging out on the grass nearby.

He's headed toward a sewer cover with what looks like a shrunken port-a-potty next to it.

"So this is our all-weather sampler. It’s refrigerated and it’s heated," he says.

He’s holding a giant set of keys to unlock the unit and manages to pick the right one on the first try.

Rogers is not a groundskeeper but a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Clarkson, and poop is kind of his specialty.

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