Case Critical Event: Tracing COVID-19 in your Wastewater

Join by Zoom on July 15 for a robust discussion on an ASU/Tempe research project to detect the presence of coronavirus in wastewater and identify hotspots.The City of Tempe has created a website (best viewed using Chrome) to explain the new field of wastewater epidemiology.

In an innovative partnership to prevent and reduce the spread of COVID-19, the City of Tempe is working with scientists from Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute to study the city’s wastewater. Wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) is the science of studying community sewage for public health information.

To better understand the science behind the wastewater data, this dashboard displays emerging research about the “COVID-19 gene copies per liter” measured within collection areas throughout the city. An example of “gene copies per liter” measurement is similar to measuring the amount of salt in water. The more salt in the water, the saltier the mixture. Similarly, the more COVID-19 genes copies per liter, the stronger the virus’ signal.

Rosa Inchausti leads Tempe’s Office of Strategic Management, which identifies and adopts new technologies that advance the quality of life for the community. Sustainability scientist Rolf Halden is expert in determining where in the environment mass-produced chemicals wind up, their impact on health, and how to remove them.