Recorded Webinar: Coronavirus and Wastewater Disinfection

Resource Recovery, Technology and Innovation

CWEA’s fourth free COVID-19 in CA webinar
From April 30, 2020

The experts tell us the coronavirus is here to stay. How do water reuse and wastewater professionals fine tune their treatment processes to better deactivate/remove virus to protect themselves and their community? Is there even infectious virus in wastewater?

Three experts in wastewater disinfection dive into the world of regulations, research and operations to explore what we know and what we are learning about the coronavirus and disinfection.

Brian Bernados, a water reuse Technical Specialist with the State Water Board, reviews current regulations, what we know about deactivating viruses and the importance of meeting State permits. He’ll touch on the disinfection technologies used in California. He’ll  cover in more detail chlorine and UV disinfection and ways to monitor the effectiveness of your system.

Andy Salveson is the Water Reuse Practice Director for Carollo and covers what scientists know about virus removal in treatment systems. He’ll provide an update on what researchers are learning. He’ll also go over important considerations for worker safety and how each stage in the treatment process is important to reducing risk.

Ben Zwart is a Field Services Specialist for Trojan UV and reviews several important steps and practices operators need to keep in mind to ensure their UV system is running at maximum efficacy and efficiency.

We’ll have plenty of time for audience Q&A so you can ask questions or share what you’re doing. Moderator John Robinson will share your questions during the Q&A.


According to WEF, scientific research points to three things we do know at this early stage:

  1. There is no evidence of viable cornavirus in wastewater systems. RNA indicators are found in wastewater and at treatment plants but it has yet to be shown the virus is still infectious.
  2. There is no evidence yet of transmission via the fecal-oral route.
  3. Enveloped virus, such as the coronavirus, are thought to be more fragile and more susceptible to disinfectants than their non-enveloped enteric counterparts (WEF and Gerrity-SNWA et al fact sheet). 

Read more on WEF’s coronavirus page or CWEA’s worker safety round-up page.

It’s also helpful to keep in mind the State’s Title 22 definitions for virus removal, “A disinfection process that, when combined with the filtration process, has been demonstrated to inactivate and/or remove 99.999 percent of the plaqueforming units of F-specific bacteriophage MS2, or polio virus in the wastewater.  A virus that is at least as resistant to disinfection as polio virus may be used for purposes of the demonstration.”

About the webinar

This is the fourth free webinar in support of CWEA’s mission to provide education and support for California’s wastewater professionals.

Have ideas for future COVID-19 webinars or speakers? Please email us your ideas.

Speaker Bios

Brian Bernados has been with the Division of Drinking Water, California State Water Board for 26 years.  He is a Registered Civil Engineer in the State of California and holds a Grade T5, Water Treatment Operator in the State of California. Brian is a technical specialist reviewing recycled water, water reuse via groundwater recharge, surface water augmentation, direct potable reuse feasibility, and alternative technology acceptance.  Technical Specialist in alternative technology, advanced technology, RO/AOP, UV disinfection (potable, recycled & reuse), recycled water, groundwater recharge, surface water augmentation, direct reuse, seawater desal, and water treatment additives/components.

John Robinson has over 25 years of experience in the private sector in California. John has established John Robinson Consulting, Inc. which is a small Los Angeles County based firm which prides ourselves with excellent customer service supporting industrial clients, special districts, municipal clients and water districts. John Robinson Consulting, Inc. experience is focused on grant applications/administration, planning, preliminary and final design, project management, and construction management supporting water resources projects for recycled water, potable water, groundwater, wastewater, and storm water system.

Andy Salveson has 19 years of environmental consulting experience serving public and private-sector clients in the research and design of water and wastewater treatment systems. He is a nationally recognized expert in water reuse and disinfection, and provides Carollo’s clients with guidance and expertise on the latest industry issues and technology regarding reuse. Andy has led numerous planning, design, and research projects for various organizations, utilities, and corporations, and was honored with the 2007 WateReuse Person of the Year Award for bringing innovative technologies to market.

Ben Zwart is a Senior Field Service Specialist for Trojan UV and has worked for Trojan for 28 years. He has served in various capacities including at an Engineering Team Leader and as a Technical Trainer. Ben graduated from the Industrial Electronic Control Program at Fanshawe College of Applies Arts and Technology. He holds an Electrician Construction and Maintenance Certification with Endorsement in Electronic Control from the Ontario College of the Trades.