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July 7, 2020

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Wastewater Monitoring Initially Showed No Detectable SARS-CoV-2 for City of St. Augustine, Florida

Geosyntec is assisting the City of St. Augustine, Florida with testing wastewater for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. SARS-CoV-2 is known to survive into wastewater. Geosyntec's testing method is sound because it uses tracer material that would positively identify the presence of SARS-CoV-2 if it were present.

Employing reverse transcriptase-quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR), Geosyntec's lab is able to detect SARS-CoV-2 in sewage and environmental samples. The 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 SARS-CoV-2 virus particles per liter of sewage. The samples are also safe to collect, with a risk of infection to field sampling personnel no different than sampling for other operating parameters. A reliable clinical methodology has also been adapted for environmental testing using widely accepted RT-qPCR technology that provides accurate quantitation over a concentration range of five orders of magnitude. 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.

More Information

For additional COVID-19-related services, visit https://www.geosyntec.com/COVID-19
Contact Duane Graves: https://www.geosyntec.com/people/duane-graves +1-865-330-0037 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Contact Mary deFlaun: https://www.geosyntec.com/people/mary-deflaun +1-609-493-9005 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
St. Augustine Record: Coronavirus not detected in first round of St. Augustine wastewater samples