Metro Vancouver is working with the B.C. Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) and UBC to better understand the COVID-19 virus in wastewater.
The project, led by the BCCDC, will analyze wastewater at treatment plants to try to determine how much of the virus is present in wastewater.
The project is currently testing and validating the methods that will be used to detect the genetic signature of the virus. Once these are confirmed, the project’s next phase will focus on determining how much of the virus is present, by taking samples at key locations in wastewater treatment plants.
The goal is to use wastewater monitoring as a tool to predict virus activity in the community and to determine the amount of virus discharged into the environment after wastewater is treated. As restrictions are relaxed, this research could help plan for possible subsequent waves of the virus in the community.
The science on COVID-19 is evolving rapidly. The project is closely following the latest work of researchers around the world, including the Canadian Coalition on Wastewater-Related COVID-19 Research, a Metro Vancouver-endorsed initiative of the Canadian Water Network.
Learn more about wastewater treatment here.