As COVID-19 continues to take its toll on our local and global communities, we want to give gratitude to those in front line services that include those continuing to ensure clean water, wastewater treatment and biosolids management continue. On behalf of Northwest Biosolids, please continue to stay informed and most importantly, stay safe and healthy.
Pandemic and Sewage Sludge Monitoring
Dr. Sally Brown, University of Washington, regularly features a Resource Library in our monthly Biosolids eBulletin. The July 2019 library focused specifically on pandemics as they relate to wastewater and biosolids. The 3rd library entry comes from the research team at the University of Arizona and discusses the survival of Coronaviruses in water and wastewater. If you're looking for a useful overview on viruses, revisit July 2019 Resource Library here.
The current spread of the new Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) which causes the COVID-19 disease is of pressing public health concern. The University of Arizona WEST Center is offering testing for the incidence of Coronavirus in sewage. Monitoring sewage can be used to evaluate if the virus is present in a community even if individuals are asymptomatic (i.e. show no visible symptoms). It can also quantify potential risk of infection to wastewater workers. Learn more here: https://west.arizona.edu/news/2020/03/sewage-surveillance-west-tests-wastewater-determine-coronavirus-presence-communities
Clean Water Will Continue - Says NACWA
The National Association of Clean Water Agencies issued a statement on March 12 stating that “America’s public clean water utilities and the hardworking men and women who operate them remain essential public servants on the front lines of environmental protection and will continue to ensure access to clean water services during this period. The water and wastewater treatment sector are critical to minimizing exposure to coronavirus and will continue this vital service to communities around the country without interruption.” The announcement was released following the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Coronavirus guidance stating that the American public 'can continue to use and drink water from their tap.'
WEF Coronavirus Website
The Water Environment Federation has a page dedicated to offering updates and resources surrounding the coronavirus and the water-sector. You can access news, webinars, podcasts and more here:
WEF 2020 Residuals and Biosolids Cancelled
WEF announced on March 11 that they would be cancelling the 2020 Residuals & Biosolids Conference in Minneapolis. "Recent developments with COVID-19 and the importance of minimizing the spread of the illness were key factors in our decision to cancel the conference. Also, the expanding reach of COVID-19 has made it impossible for WEF to deliver a high-quality program and networking opportunities as promised. Additionally, concerns expressed by conference participants and recent travel restrictions by organizations and government contributed to WEF’s decision to cancel."