Water Boards COVID-19 Updates
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Sewershed Surveillance for COVID-19
Monitoring municipal wastewater and sludge for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the disease COVID-19, along with clinical data on infections and virus shedding rates can provide valuable information to inform COVID-19 epidemiology and the State’s and local health officials’ response to the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Studies have shown that SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) variants of concern can be identified in wastewater samples 1-2 weeks prior to being detected in clinical samples from the same area, making wastewater surveillance useful for detecting and monitoring SARS-CoV-2 at the population scale.
The State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board), in collaboration with the California Department of Public Health, local jurisdictions, and academia, has been collecting and processing data from wastewater surveillance efforts since December 2020. The data collected by the State Water Board is submitted to the California Department of Public Health and subsequently submitted to the National Sewershed Surveillance System (NWSS), a national public health tool used to track the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater samples collected across the country.
More information is available at the Water Board’s Sewershed Surveillance for COVID-19 webpage.