Water Sector News

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Wastewater monitoring is the ‘public health dream’ that helped fight COVID. But it also raises big ethical questions about privacy and consent

Oct 3, 2022

Scientists have spent an inordinate amount of time during the COVID pandemic sifting through sewage—an attempt to consult the “oracle in the toilet” as to what the virus holds next.


Their goal: trace the level of COVID in human waste to gauge its spread in individual cities and states. Scientists are even able to follow the trail further downstream, tracing particular variants to neighborhoods, and even buildings like offices.

But is it ethical?

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