29 June 2020
Melbourne Water is leading an innovative project COVID-19 sewage sampling project to help inform policy makers and health authorities about potential clusters of people infected with the virus and timelines of potential outbreaks.
This sample analysis will help inform COVID-19 controls by indicating disease prevalence in the community.
It is hoped sampling will potentially identify emerging or re-emergent outbreaks, better characterise the extent of asymptomatic infections and community transmission, identify the true peak in infected individuals (compared with confirmed cases) within a sewer catchment and confirm 'clearance' of the COVID-19 virus from an area.
Sampling has commenced at different sites across Melbourne and elsewhere in Australia.
The national project has 12 utility partners, 6 health department and 10 research organisations involved. The program of work is supported by Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA).