Wastewater Sampling

In spring 2021 we partnered with Duke Facilities and with the Gunsch Lab to pilot a study of wastewater-based COVID-19 surveillance on three residence halls on Duke Campus. The pilot aimed to assess the wastewater sampling approach and compare its sensitivity to the existing nasal-swab-based surveillance program. The immediate goals were to define installation and maintenance best practices and to assess published analytical protocols. The workflow included daily 24-hours composite wastewater samples collection and specimen concentration by membrane filtration. Then RNA was extracted and virus quantification obtained by PCR; a number of process controls were included in the workflow. 

Outcomes from the research were published in Science of The Total Environment.

Methods to Detect SARS-CoV-2 in Wastewater

The Wastewater Dashboard aims to summarize and organize methods that have been reported to detect SARS-CoV-2 (SARS-2) in wastewater around the world. It is meant to be a quick resource for researchers and for those who are interested in identifying potential partnerships. Results include peer-reviewed papers and preprints. The dashboard can be downloaded and filtered by country, sampling method (grab vs. composite), concentration method category (e.g. precipitation, ultracentrifugation), and PCR methods and is up to date as of December 2020.

Wastewater Dashboard »

Additional resources and dashboards on SARS-CoV-2 wastewater protocols listed below.

COVID-19 WBE Collaborative - A network of global experts sharing publications and resources to further COVID-19 wastewater based epidemiological research. 

COVIDPoops19 Dashboard - A summary of global SARS-CoV-2 wastewater monitoring efforts compiled by the University of California, Merced.

For questions, contact Sonia Grego. The Wastewater Dashboard is supported by the Duke Sanitation Technology Cluster (OPP1173370) from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.