Water Research Australia (WaterRA) with the support of WSAA is leading an innovative Australia-wide investigation that aims to integrate reliable results of sewage testing for SARS-CoV-2 with COVID-19 health data.

Involving experts in health, microbiology, laboratory testing, wastewater-based epidemiology and policy communication, the initiative is a major collaborative effort across water utilities, health departments and researchers, with links to global expertise.

The national “ColoSSoS Project” – Collaboration on Sewage Surveillance of SARS-COV-2— will track and monitor the presence of the virus that causes COVID-19 providing information on where it is present in the population. 

“Results from similar efforts in the Netherlands (and more recently in Australia) have shown that sewage analysis can potentially detect community spread of COVID-19, even before cases are found through the testing of individuals, which makes us confident of our project’s success,” said Project Manager Dr Dan Deere.

Collection and analysis of wastewater samples has already started and these results will be integrated with health data to help guide and optimise direct management of this COVID-19 pandemic. The ColoSSoS project aims to provide a powerful tool for decision-makers. The immediate practical application of project findings could be to inform policy regarding tightening or loosening of disease control measures such as limits on gatherings and travel, and to enable effective targeting of investment and pandemic control efforts.

WaterRA, supported by WSAA is proactively working with all state and health authorities through the Environmental Health Standing Committee (enHealth), to ensure that project results can readily inform national COVID-19 control efforts. 

For further information on the ColoSSoS Project please contact:
Dr Dan Deere, ColoSSoS Project Manager
+61 409 283 737 dan@waterfutures.net.au

or visit the Water Research Australia website 

20 Apr 2020

Sandi Kolbe

Sandi Kolbe

Communications Manager