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Water Environ Res ; 94(8): e10768, 2022 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1971340


COVID-19 wastewater-based epidemiology has been performed in catchments of various sizes and sewer types with many short-term studies available and multi-seasonal studies emerging. The objective of this study was to compare weekly observations of SARS-CoV-2 genes in municipal wastewater across multiple seasons for different systems as a factor of sewer type (combined, separate sanitary) and system size. Sampling occurred following the first wave of SARS-CoV-2 cases in the study region (June 2020) and continued through the third wave (May 2021), the period during which clinical testing was widely available and different variants dominated clinical cases. The strongest correlations were observed between wastewater N1 concentrations and the cumulative clinical cases reported in the 2 weeks prior to wastewater sampling, followed by the week prior, new cases, and the week after wastewater sampling. Sewer type and size did not necessarily explain the strength of the correlations, indicating that other non-sewer factors may be impacting the observations. In-system sampling results for the largest system sampled are presented for 1 month. Removing wet weather days from the data sets improved even the flow-normalized correlations for the systems, potentially indicating that interpreting results during wet weather events may be more complicated than simply accounting for dilution. PRACTITIONER POINTS: SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater correlated best with total clinical cases reported in 2 weeks before wastewater sampling at the utility level. Study performed when clinical testing was widespread during the year after the first COVID-19 wave in the region. Sewer type and size did not necessarily explain correlation strength between clinical cases and wastewater-based epidemiology results. Removing wet weather days improved correlations for 3/4 utilities studied, including both separate sanitary and combined sewers.

COVID-19 , Wastewater , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Sewage , Weather
Sci Total Environ ; 814: 151947, 2022 Mar 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1531805


Wastewater surveillance has been used as a tool for COVID-19 outbreak detection particularly where there was not capability in place for routine and robust individual testing. Given clinical reports that earlier detection is possible following infection from throat/nasal samples compared to fecal samples for COVID-19 patients, the utility of wastewater testing where robust individual testing is possible is less clear. The objective of this study was to compare the results of weekly required COVID-19 saliva tests to weekly wastewater monitoring for residential buildings (i.e., dormitories) located across three college campuses capturing wastewater from 80 to 441 occupants per sampling location. Sampling occurred during the spring semester of the 2021 academic year which captured the third wave of SARS-CoV-2 cases in the study region. Comparison of the saliva and wastewater testing results indicated that the wastewater SARS-CoV-2 concentrations had a strong linear correlation with the previous week's percentage of positive saliva test results and a weak linear correlation with the saliva testing results surrounding the wastewater sampling (four days before and 3 days after). Given that no correlation was observed between the wastewater and the saliva testing from the following week, the weekly saliva testing captured spikes in COVID-19 cases earlier than the weekly wastewater sampling. Interestingly, the N1 gene was observed in buildings on all campuses, but N2 was observed in wastewater on only one of the campuses. N1 and N2 were also observed in sewer biofilm. The campus-specific challenges associated with implementation of wastewater surveillance are discussed. Overall, these results can help inform design of surveillance for early detection of SARS-CoV-2 in residential settings thereby informing mitigation strategies to slow or prevent the spread of the virus among residents in congregate living.

COVID-19 , Sewage , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Saliva , Wastewater , Wastewater-Based Epidemiological Monitoring