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Compact Portable Samplers: The Foundation for Your COVID-19 Wastewater Surveillance Program

Hach Sampler COVID Testing

Officials in some geographic locations are using wastewater testing as a possible method for identifying levels of Covid-19 in their communities. The goal of the test is to look for ribonucleic acid (RNA), which is the genetic material of Covid-19, in feces in sewage and wastewater.

The cause of Covid-19 is the SARS-CoV-2 virus. According to extensive research, people infected with SARS-CoV-2 begin shedding the virus in their stools immediately after infection. The virus's genetic material makes its way into the vast wastewater collection network. The amount of viral matter in a community's wastewater could reveal the level of Covid-19 spread in the population. It can be detected and quantified using modern sampling and analysis techniques up to a week before individuals test positive in clinics. The information can initiate the necessary mitigation and response plans, such as individual testing, contract tracking, and quarantine. It also allows for collecting data on a cross-section of the population, monitoring large-scale public health solutions.

Public health officials can better control the spread and prevent further damage by analyzing virus concentrations in specific facilities such as nursing homes and college dorms and selected neighborhoods or entire communities.

In September 2020, the CDC launched the National Wastewater Surveillance System (NWSS) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The National Watershed Surveillance System (NWSS), created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is a program to coordinate and strengthen the nation's capacity to track the presence of SARS-CoV-2.

Scientists detected the novel Coronavirus at low concentrations in wastewater, indicating the possibility of community-wide early warning systems. Successful Covid-19 wastewater testing programs are turning up in many parts of the United States, including Colorado, Ohio, New York, and Wyoming. Universities and municipalities embrace this approach to identify hot spots within the community. Multiple success stories have documented that wastewater surveillance in dorms, followed by individual COVID testing, has led to early detection and containment. The University of Arizona, University of Virginia, Utah State University, and the University of Colorado were among the first to utilize COVID trends within the wastewater and take action to minimize community spread within dorms and throughout campus.

Hach Sampler COVID Testing

An effective COVID wastewater monitoring program relies on representative samples.

Water samplers are critical components in developing and deploying a community-based underground sewage surveillance program for COVID-19 outbreak detection, including best practices for wastewater sampling, lab analysis, and the immediate delivery of actionable information to local public health officials and administrators. Automatic sampler readings analyze the characteristics and presence of the Coronavirus in parts per million quantities, revealing the population numbers in a given geographic area to determine the virus's presence and amount in wastewater. When combined with laboratory testing, Hach® compact portable samplers enable automated composite wastewater sample collection and can be deployed throughout communities, assisting in preventing an outbreak.

Features of Hach® Compact Portable Samplers:

  • An intuitive interface with a large full-color display simplifies setup and installation, reducing errors.
  • The rugged and dependable pump reduces the need for maintenance.
  • Smaller manhole applications require a compact base.

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