WRF Announces Structure, Co-Chairs for Virtual International Water Research Summit on Environmental Surveillance of COVID-19 Indicators in Sewersheds

Apr 13, 2020
Press Release

Today, The Water Research Foundation (WRF) announced the Working Group Co-Chairs and structure for its groundbreaking event, the Virtual International Water Research Summit on Environmental Surveillance of COVID-19 Indicators in Sewersheds. The Summit will kick off on Monday, April 27, with a virtual plenary opening session that is open to the public. Then, over the next 48 hours, Working Groups will convene virtually to tackle four related issues that will advance best practices for the environmental surveillance of wastewater for indicators of COVID-19, with the end goal of accelerating progress in this critically important area. Finally, a virtual closing session, also open to the public, will share top-level findings from the Working Groups.

WRF has recruited world-renowned researchers and distinguished water sector professionals to serve as co-chairs of the Working Groups, which will each be facilitated by WRF staff:

Working Group 1: Develop best practices and standardized procedures for the collection and storage of wastewater samples

  • Co-Chairs: Chuck Gerba, Arizona State University; Jim Pletl, Hampton Roads Sanitation District; Dan Gerrity, Southern Nevada Water Authority; Alice Fulmer, WRF

Working Group 2: Develop best practices for the use of molecular genetics tools to identify the concentration of indicators of COVID-19 in wastewater samples

  • Co-Chairs: Krista Wigginton, University of Michigan; Frederic Béen, KWR; Joan Rose, Michigan State University; Christobel Ferguson, WRF

Working Group 3: Develop recommended approaches for use of indicator concentrations to inform trends and estimates of community prevalence

  • Co-Chairs: Chuck Haas, Drexel University; Doug Yoder, Miami-Dade Water, and Sewer Department; Gertjan Medema, KWR; Vanessa Speight, University of Sheffield; John Albert, WRF

Working Group 4: Develop strategies to communicate the implications of environmental surveillance results with the public health community, elected officials, wastewater workers, and the public

  • Co-Chairs: Cathy Bailey, Greater Cincinnati Water Works; Jim McQuarrie, Metro Wastewater Reclamation District; Dan Deere, Water Futures; Lexie Vean, WRF

The recommendations of each of the Working Groups will be shared with the public at the closing session of the Summit. Additional details about this event, including registration links for the public opening and closing sessions, will be released soon on the WRF website.

About WRF

The Water Research Foundation (WRF) is the leading not-for-profit research cooperative that advances the science of water to protect public health and the environment. Governed by utilities, WRF delivers scientifically sound research solutions and knowledge to serve our subscribers and stakeholders in all areas of drinking water, wastewater, stormwater, and reuse.