California Wastewater Utilities Participating in COVID-19 Sewer Surveillance

Technology and Innovation

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Photo by Paul Cockrell

Testing wastewater for RNA strands of the coronavirus might tell local officials how widespread COVID-19 is in their community and whether infections are rising or falling. Known as “sewer surveillance” or “wastewater epidemiology” – wastewater professionals are once again working to protect public health.

An important note – finding coronavirus RNA in wastewater does not mean it is infectious virus. According to WEF, the scientific community has found no evidence of viable COVID-19 virus in wastewater systems.

Utilities Participating

Here are the utilities we know of. If youe utility is participating in a COVID-19 sewer surveillance project please email us.

  • Bay Area Regional Wastewater Epidemiology – UC Berkeley Lab
  • Carmel Area Wastewater District – BioBot
  • Cambria CSD
  • Central San
  • City of American Canyon
  • City of Escondido, Hale Avenue Resource Recovery Facility  – UC Irvine research project
  • City of Fontana
  • City of Gilroy
  • City of Los Angeles Sanitation and Environment
  • City of Modesto
  • City of Oceanside
  • City of Oxnard
  • City of Paso Robles
  • City of San Diego
  • City of San Francisco
  • City of Santa Barbara – UC Santa Barbara research project
  • City of San Diego – University of Arizona research project
  • City of Santa Cruz
  • City of San Luis Obispo
  • Dublin San Ramon SD
  • East Bay MUD – working with researchers at Stanford University and University of Arizona
  • Irvine Ranch Water District  – UC Irvine research project
  • Inland Empire Utilities Agency
  • Jurupa Community Services District
  • Lake County Special Districts – BioBot
  • Las Virgenes MWD
  • Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts
    • Joint Plant WPCP, Carson
    • San Jose Creek WRP
    • La Canada WRP
  • Montecito Sanitary District – UC Santa Barbara research project
  • Orange County Sanitation District  – UC Irvine research project
  • Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District – working with researchers at Stanford University, University of Arizona and UC Davis
  • South Orange County Wastewater Authority
  • San Bernardino MWD
  • Silicon Valley Clean Water
  • State Water Board
  • UC Berkeley
  • UC Davis
  • UC San Diego

According to the LA Times:

From Stanford to the University of Arizona, from Australia to Paris, teams of researchers have been ramping up wastewater analyses to track the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Initial studies show that sewage monitoring, or “wastewater-based-epidemiology,” could not only tell us how much the virus might actually be spreading in a community — but also when the virus has finally gone away.

Other news coverage of COVID-19 sewer surveillance: