Sewers may hold the secrets to making us healthier
The tens of billions of gallons of wastewater produced daily in the United States is the source of a rich dataset that researchers are tapping to learn more about the state of the public’s health. Among researchers engaged in some of the most thorough wastewater-based epidemiology is Fulton Schools Professor Rolf Halden, director of ASU’s Biodesign Center for Environmental Heath Engineering. Halden and his research team are part of growing efforts to examine wastewater to track the spread of diseases such as COVID-19 and the flu, and the use of opioids in various communities. While wastewater analysis is revealing significant information to drive public health protection strategies, Halden and other experts say much more could be accomplished if government would provide support to expand this research.
See also: In the Tales Told by Sewage, Public Health and Privacy Collide, Undark, April 21
Sewage Has Stores to Tell. Why Won’t The U.S. Listen, Smithsonian Magazine, April 26