City of SD recognized for COVID-19 wastewater monitoring

Ucsd Wastewater Covid

UCSD has been monitoring their wastewater for traces of COVID in addition to the city of San Diego’s Public Utilities Department. Image Source: UCSD.

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Two state agencies recognized the city’s Public Utilities Department for monitoring wastewater in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a city spokesman said Monday.

The Public Utilities Department was one of five California utilities that participated in the Center for Disease Control’s National Wastewater Surveillance System program, in cooperation with the state Water Quality Control Board.

Also, the California Water Monitoring Council recognized the city department and other organizations for monitoring efforts, including the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ studies on how to implement wastewater- based epidemiology nationwide.

“The monitoring of wastewater can provide key information that is helpful in understanding and preventing the spread of COVID-19,” said Shauna Lorance, city Public Utilities Department director, in a statement.

“We are very proud to continue providing assistance to state and federal agencies with these efforts.”

According to the state Water Quality Control Board, the Public Utilities department and several California agencies and institutions “pioneered an approach that better assesses the spread of COVID-19 through testing wastewater. This approach yields information about the prevalence of the diseases in populations several days sooner than individual testing and hospitalization records.”

The city has participated in multiple studies for COVID-19 monitoring of wastewater since the pandemic began last year, ahead of federal and state epidemiology programs.

Data collected from those studies was “critical in helping to understand the spread, movement and control of the virus in our communities,” according to city officials. “When the studies are completed, the information will be shared with the public.”

The city also has participated in other studies of its wastewater/COVID-19 studies, including those by San Diego State University, the University of Arizona and the Southern California Coastal Water Research Project.

Categories: California News, Coronavirus, Health, KUSI, Local San Diego News