About WasterwaterSCAN

WastewaterSCAN is a national effort to spread monitoring of diseases through municipal wastewater systems to inform public health responses locally and nationally.

WastewaterSCAN’s approach is sensitive, comparable from place to place, and useful to public health officials and the public. WastewaterSCAN shares data publicly through its online dashboard. Additionally, data are shared to the National Wastewater Surveillance System (NWSS) database established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for pathogens included in NWSS.

Our data and methods are open and available. Methods for testing of each pathogen and controls to manage variations in samples are published in detail for use by other scientists, public health officials, and wastewater monitoring practitioners.

Participating treatment plants will:

Serve a population of 10,000 or more people

18 months
Sample three times a week for up to 18 months

Open data
Display their data on WastewaterSCAN’s online dashboard

WastewaterSCAN may work with some treatment plants that serve smaller populations in the interest of greater health equity.

No Cost to Communities

Philanthropic funding covers the full cost for sampling materials, shipping, and stipends to cover the labor cost to municipalities for sample collection for 12 months, with the possibility of service for up to 18 months.

How It Works

Receive sampling kits

Each participating wastewater treatment plant regularly receives sampling kits from WastewaterSCAN.

Collect samples

Plant employees collect three samples each week, preferably samples of solids that have settled in the plant’s primary clarifier tank (WastewaterSCAN provides equipment to help plants settle solids from liquid samples or Verily can do this at its lab, if necessary). We can accept liquid influent as well.

Submit Samples

Plant employees send in samples to WastewaterSCAN’s lab partner Verily three times a week using prepaid shipping materials.

Process samples

The lab tests samples for genetic markers of the virus that causes COVID-19, flu, RSV, and other pathogens within 48 hours of receiving samples through overnight shipping.

Disseminate data

Results that indicate the overall levels of the pathogens monitored are made public as soon as they are available.


WastewaterSCAN is a powerful partnership among higher education, industry, public leaders, and philanthropy including:

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