Water Sector News & Trends

Fecal Matters: Using Sludge, Sewage and Wastewater to Help Fight COVID Outbreaks


One person's trash (or more accurately, what they flush down the toilet) could be more than another person's treasure — it could aid in the fight against COVID-19.

A group of scientists at Yale University are using wastewater from sewage plants and sewers to predict were new coronavirus outbreaks might pop-up, giving communities a chance to stop them before they start.

"Sludge was my idea. I had worked for the last 10-15 years in sewage," said Professor Jordan Peccia, who is part of the university's School of Engineering and Applied Science.

The team of scientists are knee-deep in "research" to analyze the sewer sludge, and look for concentrations of the coronavirus.