CDC’s wastewater surveillance system serves as early COVID detection
A wastewater surveillance system launched by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control is proving to be effective in predicting trends in the spread of COVID-19. But there are challenges to putting the system to use in rural communities where many households use septic systems to collect wastewater. This means the water doesn’t go to municipal sewer facilities where it is available for testing by surveillance programs. In some areas, a large percentage of the wastewater from the population is out of reach for these programs, including Native American tribal groups in the western U.S. Fulton Schools Assistant Professor Otakuye Conroy-Ben is an environmental engineer who works with these groups. She points out some of the complexities involved in collecting and sharing data gathered from these sovereign native communities. The article is also published in America’s Triangle Newshub.