Water Sector News
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Tracking health threats, one sewage sample at a time
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – The best time of day to collect a wastewater sample is in the morning. That's according to Raul Gonzalez, an environmental scientist who's an expert on how people's hygiene habits intersect with the flow of sewage.
Gonzalez runs the wastewater surveillance program at the Hampton Roads Sanitation District, a Virginia Beach, Va., sewage treatment operation that processes waste for 20% of the state's population. He and his team were early adopters of wastewater surveillance – a way of tracking the concentration of viruses, bacteria and infectious diseases in sewage to watch for infectious disease outbreaks.