News Flash

Public Works - News

Posted on: December 22, 2020

Wastewater Analytics Tracking COVID-19

The Sewer Division of Public Works is excited to announce that the Town of Greenwich, CT is using wastewater analytics to track COVID-19 spread within the community. Infected individuals shed the virus in stool during the first few days of infection (whether the individual feels any symptoms or not), and components of the virus make their way through our sewer system and into our wastewater treatment plant. By analyzing the viral components that come into the plant, we can see a snapshot of the amount of spread that is currently happening in the community. This type of analysis supplements the Health Department’s clinical efforts and produces data that the Town can use to help track community spread over time and communicate infection risk with residents and business owners.

We began testing our wastewater for the SARS-COV-2 virus in mid-April, at the end of the first wave of Covid-19. We have continued testing on a weekly to biweekly schedule depending upon trends we have been watching in the rate of infection spread. In early November, we saw a significant increase in the amount of virus detected, indicating the beginning of a second wave of Covid-19. This information will be updated as new data become available. 


 Important things to keep in mind:

  • This information is only intended to supplement and be a tool in the effort of the Health Department and other Town officials to help make decisions on guidance.
  • Don’t panic!  This is a reminder to be vigilant and don’t become complacent.  
  • WEAR A MASK whenever in public.  Please refer to the CDC website for the latest up to date information regarding mask types, materials, etc.  
  • Wash your hands thoroughly and often.
  • Limit social interactions and avoid large crowds.
  • Follow the CDC guidelines.
  • Stay educated and informed and stay safe.
  • If everyone does their part, we will get through this together.  

Please see graph below:

Click Here for a PDF version of the graph.

The data represented in this graph was generated by Biobot Analytics. This data may be subject to minor revision as Biobot improves its model. Blue bars represent concentrations of the SARS-COV-2 virus detected in raw wastewater influent. The blue trendline represents the moving average of SARS-COV-2 concentration. Error bars represent an estimate of the range of variability caused by laboratory processing (Beta R&D Model, Biobot is currently working on a full model of variability which will improve the accuracy of this estimated range). Orange bars represent weekly new clinical test positives from the Health Department. The orange trendline represents the moving average of weekly new clinical test positives. The highlighted portion of the graph represents the current exposure risk (Red=High, Yellow=Moderate, Green=Low). Updates to this graph will be made as the data becomes available. 

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