SAN ANTONIO – Researchers at the University of Texas are surveilling what you are flushing down the toilet to monitor the spread of the coronavirus, and so far, their research is proving to be successful.
Wastewater surveillance isn’t new. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this type of surveillance is a method for early detection of other diseases, such as polio. Many universities across the nation have also used wastewater surveillance to track COVID cases among students.
UTSA has partnered with the San Antonio River Authority to collect weekly samples over a 24-hour period from its treatment plants.
The first phase included testing the Salitrillo Wastewater Treatment Plant in Converse.
“We’re trying to see if you are able to monitor the concentration of this virus within the community,” said Vikram Kapoor, assistant professor in UTSA’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.