Water Sector News
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KRMA wastewater tested to monitor COVID-19 in local communities
Before wastewater that flows into the Kankakee River Metropolitan Agency gets treated and has pollutants removed, some of it is pulled over a 24-hour period into a jug-sized sample.
Smaller portions of that sample, taken twice per week, are tested for SARS CoV-2 as part of the Illinois Wastewater Surveillance System, an initiative from University of Illinois System’s Discovery Partners Institute and the Illinois Department of Public Health, which monitors the levels of coronavirus and other pathogens in communities throughout the state. SARS CoV-2 is the strain of coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
“You’re effectively collecting one sample for all the people, and it’s completely non-invasive, it’s anonymous, it’s extremely cost-effective, and it gives you a consistent source of data,” Laura Clements, senior project manager at Discovery Partners Institute, said of wastewater surveillance.