Our clients are seeking an early warning based on reliable data about SARS-CoV-2 virus prevalence in their facilities and communities.
Geosyntec provides timely wastewater data to our clients to help them make informed decisions about appropriate, community-specific responses. Our approach is to monitor the sewer system for the flow-normalized presence and concentration of SARS-CoV-2 virus. Routine monitoring requires periodic grab or proportional composite samples along targeted areas of the collection system. The frequency of sampling may be adjusted based on the occurrence of the virus in the sewage and available reported COVID-19 cases and population data. Testing will help our clients understand how prevalent SARS-CoV-2 virus is in their facility or community.
How We Can Help
Geosyntec employs reverse transcriptase-quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) for detecting SARS-CoV-2 in sewage and environmental samples. Our analysis reduces the potential for false positives by detecting unique SARS-CoV-2 genes on the viral RNA. Positive and negative controls, as well as internal amplification controls, ensure each analysis is accurate and will yield a positive result if the viral RNA is present. Geosyntec’s analytical approach is:
- Highly sensitive: the detection limit is as low as 20 virus particles per liter of sewage
- Safe to collect: risk of infection to field sampling personnel is no different than sampling for other operating parameters
- Reliable: clinical methodology has been adapted for environmental testing using widely accepted RT-qPCR technology that provides accurate quantitation over a concentration range of 5 orders of magnitude
- Sustainable: does not require critically-needed testing materials from the healthcare supply chain
Duane Graves, Ph.D.
Duane Graves is a microbiologist and subject matter expert with more than 30 years of experience solving challenging problems in biotechnology, biological contamination, forensics, remediation, and environmental microbiology and chemistry. A recognized expert in developing and deploying practical innovations for pathogenic and biological agents, he implemented the first commercial application of real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) for the onsite detection of Anthrax for the US Postal Service. He has worked with hotel management firms, public buildings, the US Air Force, NASA, insurers, a nuclear power plant, various industries, and attorneys to address microbe-related issues and support litigation.
Phil Dennis, M.A.Sc.
Phil Dennis has over 30 years of experience in research and management of molecular biology, microbiology, and environmental remediation laboratories, including molecular genetic testing services, and development of new molecular services to address emerging environmental challenges and client needs.