NEW Water continues sampling of wastewater to track COVID-19

Feb 22, 2022

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Since the start of the pandemic, state and local health departments have been trying to contain and monitor the spread of COVID-19 in communities through testing. But what if there was a way to get on top of a potential surge, by going below?

Dozens of Wisconsin wastewater treatment facilities have been doing it for two years now by monitoring the coronavirus in wastewater and giving communities an early warning for a potential outbreak.

“We serve all Brown County for the most part,” said Tom Sigmund, executive director of NEW Water, the brand of the Green Bay Metropolitan Sewerage District.

NEW Water processes and treats about 40 million gallons of wastewater each day, giving them a large sample to draw from for COVID-19 testing. Twice a week, treatment operators collect a raw sample of wastewater from both the Green Bay and De Pere facility to send off for COVID testing.

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