Sampling has begun with CWCO partners

In September, 2020, the COVID-19 Wastewater Consortium of Ontario (CWCO) started an 8-week wastewater sampling program across Ontario with the support of its partners. In the past  two months, the province has seen a spike in the number of clinical COVID-19 cases, bringing the challenge of a second wave of COVID-19. The collection of wastewater samples from
sewershed networks at this time is crucial, as these samples act as reference points in our study. The analysis of this wastewater allows us to pinpoint specific hotspots within a region. This tracking strategy gives public health officials the data which they need to make informed decisions. For instance, if a particular region’s wastewater suggests a spike in COVID-19 cases, public health officials can better allocate resources to the needs of their communities.

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Please take a moment to complete our wastewater research survey

We kindly ask new and existing partners to complete the following wastewater research survey from COVID-19 Consortium of Ontario (CWCO) as linked below:

Developing a detailed gap analysis is an essential part of this project as the findings and conclusions will help us identify current gaps existing in Ontario’s municipal/ non-municipal wastewater treatment plants capacity to track for SARS-CoV-2. Distributing the general survey to our CWCO’s partners and all the municipalities in Ontario is the first step in our bottom-up approach in collecting data across the province.

For our first phase of data collection, the survey provided will consist of general questions regarding the wastewater treatment plant of the municipality you are representing. The survey is divided into six sections: general information, municipal population, wastewater treatment plant resources, and sampling/testing resources.  It should take approximately 10 minutes to complete.

With this survey, we hope to gather as much information as we can to build a strong database that helps us move forward in our research. After the first phase of data collection, we will proceed into phase two consisting of a second detailed survey and possibly an individual interview to thoroughly identify local realities, risks and opportunities. We appreciate your collaboration and look forward to supporting our partners in building local capacity to track and fight against the community spread of SARS-CoV-2.

Thank you again for your time.

Dr. Zobia Jawed (Ph.D., M.Eng.)
Faculty of Engineering, McMaster University

[Hamilton Spectator] Flushing out COVID: McMaster University will test sewage in a bid to uncover campus outbreaks

McMaster University will try to flush out future COVID-19 outbreaks by testing campus sewage — and it hopes to help other cities do the same.

The university will start testing sewage at 13 different spots across the west Hamilton campus as part of an “early warning” COVID-tracking strategy designed by its own wastewater experts, Gail Krantzberg and Zobia Jawed.