Loading...
Search
X

Water Sector News

A snapshot of clean water stories from publications around the country, updated daily!

For virus tracking, wastewater is liquid gold. Scientists hope that work isn't flushed away

Sep 19, 2022
https://www.cbc.ca/news/health/for-virus-tracking-wastewater-is-liquid-gold-scientists-hope-that-work-isn-t-flushed-away-1.6584591

One night in March 2020, as wastewater researcher Robert Delatolla was making dinner at his Ottawa home, his wife wondered out loud: Was it possible to spot the novel coronavirus in the city's sewage system?

Delatolla had spent years of his environmental engineering career exploring wastewater treatment technologies — not tracking viruses. He scoffed at the idea.

"I obnoxiously said, 'It won't work,'" the University of Ottawa professor recalled.

A few days later, Delatolla realized his wife was right. In late March, Dutch researchers announced wastewater surveillance efforts in the Netherlands were successfully identifying the virus behind COVID-19, even before official cases were reported. 

Delatolla and his laboratory team raced to get a similar system up and running. "By April 8th, 2020, we were able to get our first detection," he said. "That was our first detection of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater in Canada."

Back To Top
Join NACWA Engage™ Careers Contact Us