Opinion: Wastewater monitoring: how to strengthen and sustain an important public health tool

Wastewater monitoring has gained visibility and credibility as an effective pandemic management tool. Yet despite its promise, its use around the country remains fragmented, and its future unclear, based on the results from a national survey conducted by the Rockefeller Foundation’s Pandemic Prevention Institute and Mathematica.

Today, a year and a half after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention launched the National Wastewater Surveillance System, the program has supported wastewater monitoring in 560 counties across 44 states plus Washington, D.C. The hundreds of wastewater treatment plants monitored across these counties cover almost 20% of the U.S. population. With expansion to additional sites underway, NWSS provides technical assistance in sample collection and SARS-CoV-2 viral quantification, and access to a data analytics platform.

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