As a company involved in infection control and water sample analysis, we wanted to share some interesting findings on sewer water containing COVID-19 indicators. Research1 between three Boston-based companies found virus particles in the area’s wastewater system. Based on the sampling data, they estimated that some 2,300 people in the area likely had COVID-19 (when only 446 cases were officially reported at the time).
As we have learned from the medical experts, many people are probably carrying the virus without knowing it. Consider a report2 from the Netherlands wherein researchers detected the virus in sewage samples, sometimes even before officials reported the first known COVID-19 case in the country.
Based on research like this, detecting viral RNA from wastewater may be one method to determine when virus levels are reducing. This may be an unusual way to make an “all clear” call but it certainly can aid in determining a downward slope in human exposure.