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ESR launches interactive COVID-19 wastewater dashboard to better track the virus's progress

22 July 2022


ESR has launched an interactive COVID-19 wastewater dashboard to better share how COVID-19 is tracking across Aotearoa New Zealand.

The dashboard enables users to check the quantity of COVID-19 in wastewater in locations across New Zealand, compare the volumes in wastewater with reported cases, and see if levels are increasing or decreasing over time.

The dashboard’s easy-to-digest data visualisations are optimised for desktop and mobile use and can be accessed from the COVID-19 Wastewater Dashboard.

The dashboard allows users to:

  • View national trends
  • View regional trends
  • Search results using a summary or map tab
  • Compare results across different time periods

About wastewater testing results

ESR conducts testing of samples collected from locations around Aoteaora New Zealand. When there are known cases of COVID-19 in the community ESR may increase the number of tests being undertaken, or reduce the number of sites being sampled when the risk is considered to be lower.

The preferred option for wastewater sampling is called the ‘automatic composite sample’. This is where a pump automatically collects a small volume of wastewater every 15 minutes over 24 hours. These are available in some wastewater treatment plants. When composite samples are not available, ‘grab sampling’ may be used which can range from a sample taken at a single point in time, to 3 samples taken over 30 minutes, to samples collected over a day.

The frequency of sampling will vary depending on the local population, access to wastewater collection points and risk factors.

Each week the results of wastewater samples collected by the Saturday of each week are presented from throughout Aotearoa New Zealand.