Sewage Surveillance: Variants and Sharing Data with Public Health Authorities

June 1, 2021

Share news:

During the 3rd Strategic Meeting on Sewage Surveillance, over 30 Watershare members and invited guests discussed updates from across the globe, the latest on variants monitoring and translating data for public health authorities.

In the first part of the meeting, we heard from Prof. Gertjan Medema, KWR, who updated participants on the latest publication from the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) – SARS-CoV-2 Surveillance: Employing Sewage towards a Sentinel System. The European Commission (EC) has now a sewage sentinel designated as HERA (Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority). Examples of HERA initiatives are: assessing the introduction of sewage surveillance in the new EU wastewater discharge directives; the EU Umbrella project, measuring one-time samples in 55 European cities, in which KWR is participating; and funding though countries national health authorities to fund future sewage surveillance projects.

In the next part, we had our first round of presentations from our guest speakers, who discussed the most recent updates and methodologies of SARS-CoV-2 variants monitoring.

  • Tamar Kohn, Institute of Environmental Engineering, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne (EPFL), together with Dr. Katharina Jahn, Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich (ETHZ)
  • Leo Heijnen, Scientific Researcher, KWR, Netherlands

Following this, we then heard from our next invited speakers about translating data for use by public health authorities, with examples from Canada and Turkey.

  • Peter Vanrolleghem, modelEAU – Université Laval, Québec, Canada
  • Prof. Bilge Alpaslan Kocamemi, Marmara University, Environmental Engineering Department, Turkish Water Institute (SUEN), Istanbul, Turkey

The meeting ended with a very brief summary provided by Dr. Laurent Moulin, Eau de Paris, and members expressed their interest to continue sharing knowledge on this important topic.

If you are interested in what Watershare members and extended network are doing on wastewater based epidemiology, please do not hesitate to contact Lisa Andrews, Watershare Engagement Manager (