COVID-19 Guidance and Resources

With the COVID-19 pandemic spreading worldwide, The Water Research Foundation has been dedicated to keeping water sector professionals informed about this virus and any measures needed to protect both water sector workers and public health. WRF continues to gather key information from experts in the fields of infectious disease control, virology, water engineering, outbreak epidemiology, pandemic trends, and risk emergency response, and provide deliverables and learning opportunities to disseminate the latest information.  

Coronavirus structure, illustration. Coronaviruses cause respiratory tract infections in humans and are connected with common colds, pneumonia and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).

International Water Research Summit on COVID-19

In April 2020, WRF hosted a groundbreaking International Water Research Summit on Environmental Surveillance of COVID-19 Indicators in Sewersheds. The Summit addressed several technical issues to further advance the work researchers are performing throughout the world. 

Overview

The Summit provided diverse insights on the current state of knowledge on wastewater surveillance in sewersheds, including wastewater sampling, molecular genetics tools, interpretation of results, and communication of this information to stakeholders.

Recommendations

This paper offers insight from global leaders on the current state of knowledge on wastewater sampling, molecular genetics tools, interpretation of results, and communication of this information to stakeholders.

Sampling Guidance

This Field Sample Collection Form is an editable PDF that practitioners can use as part of a wastewater sampling program.

Questions?

Contact Christobel Ferguson, Chief Innovation Officer, with questions about The Water Research Foundation's SARS-CoV-2 efforts.

Webcasts

WRF hosted three webcasts to inform water sector professionals about the novel coronavirus and any measures needed to protect both workers and public health in general. The speakers provided participants with technical details, resources, and published public health recommendations.

Press Releases and Research Opportunities

The following resources are meant to inform water sector professionals about the novel coronavirus and any measures needed to protect both workers and public health in general.

  • Press Release - The Water Research Foundation Releases RFQ for SARS-CoV-2 Sewershed Sampling Study

    This week, The Water Research Foundation (WRF) released a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to identify a research team to optimize sample design for the quantification of SARS-CoV-2 genes in sewage and wastewater. The research will encompass a range of scales by conducting a sampling and analytical program in multiple locations within well-characterized community sewersheds of varying size. This project was identified as a high-priority research need during WRF’s recent International Water Research Summit on Environmental Surveillance of COVID-19 Indicators. In addition to WRF funds, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation contributed $150,000 in funding to support this technical, research and development project.
     

  • Press Release - The Water Research Foundation Names Trussell Technologies as Lead Researcher for COVID-19 Study

    ​The Water Research Foundation (WRF) announced that, pending contract negotiations, Trussell Technologies will lead Interlaboratory and Methods Assessment of the SARS-CoV-2 Genetic Signal in Wastewater (project 5089). Over sixty U.S.-based laboratories and an additional thirty laboratories outside of the United States have expressed interest in participating in this project. The Trussell Technologies team, led by Brian Pecson, will first gather additional information from these laboratories and designate the list of facilities to participate in the project.

    > View the Press Release

  • Press Release - WRF Releases RFQ for SARS CoV-2 Study

    The Water Research Foundation (WRF) released a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to identify a research team to lead a project evaluating existing methods and testing reliability for the genetic signal for SARS-CoV-2 in untreated wastewater. The selected research team will assess the existing methods used by laboratories (see the RFQ for a list of potential laboratories) and perform statistical analyses and comparisons of the test results. This project was identified as a high-priority research need during WRF’s recent International Water Research Summit on Environmental Surveillance of COVID-19 Indicators.

    > View the Press Release

  • Press Release - WRF Seeks Labs to Participate in SARS-CoV-2 Study

    The Water Research Foundation (WRF) is seeking laboratories to participate in an interlaboratory and methods assessment of the SARS-CoV-2 genetic signal in wastewater. This project was identified as a high-priority research need during WRF’s recent International Water Research Summit on Environmental Surveillance of COVID-19 Indicators. Currently, the project is focused on North America, primarily within the United States. However, we invite international laboratories to signal interest in participation as opportunities for partnerships are evaluated. Participating laboratories must have experience analyzing wastewater samples for the genetic signal of SARS-COV-2, be able to describe their method(s), and comply with the specified quality assurance protocols.

    > View the Press Release

  • Press Release - WRF Publishes Recommendations from Global Experts on Wastewater Surveillance of the COVID-19 Genetic Signal in Sewersheds

    The Water Research Foundation (WRF) published the recommended best practices from global experts that contributed to WRF’s international water research summit on wastewater surveillance of the genetic signal of COVID-19 sewersheds. This paper offers insight from global leaders on the current state of knowledge on wastewater sampling, molecular genetics tools, interpretation of results, and communication of this information to stakeholders.

    > View the Press Release