Wastewater is used water from toilets, showers, baths, basins, sinks and laundries that passes through the sewerage system. ESR is testing this wastewater because the presence of viral fragments shows that SARS-CoV-2 – the virus that causes COVID-19 – has been found in the sewerage system catchment. Samples are currently being collected from wastewater treatment facilities throughout New Zealand.
This early warning can lead to increased local vigilance and clinical testing and allow health authorities to target public health advice to prevent transmission.
Check out more about it here.