Weighing wastewater’s worth as a COVID-19 monitoring tool
Scientists and engineers have been proving the value of wastewater surveillance and analysis in recent years. In particular, some have targeted their monitoring methods at detecting the signs of COVID-19 in public wastewater treatment facilities. With his team at ASU’s Biodesign Center for Environmental Health Engineering, environmental engineer and Fulton School Professor Rolf Halden has been among those leading the way in tracking the spread of COVID-19, as well as providing important data about the overall health of communities. He also co-founded a wastewater-based epidemiology start-up that performed the first nationwide study in over 100 cities for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Still, Halden and other experts say there remain challenges to achieving the advances to enable even more effective wastewater analysis-based defenses against disease.