COVID-19 in Wastewater

COVID-19 in Wastewater

As cases of COVID-19 continue to rise around the world, researches are looking beyond traditional clinical testing methods to combat and slow the spread of the disease.  New research has now demonstrated the presence of SARS-CoV2 shed into the wastewater stream by COVID-19 infected people.  The analysis of the untreated wastewater (sewage) is thought to enable surveillance of the spread of the virus throughout our communities.

Listen to what the latest developments are in this space and how effective this testing is at supporting tracing of COVID cases and identifying new hotspots in the ongoing fight against COVID.

Jochen Mueller from UQ will be presenting on the latest QLD research that he and his team have been undertaking, Dan Deere from Water Futures in Victoria will then speak on his project; Understanding the Impacts of COVID-19 and the Associated Virus (SARS-CoV-2) on our Wastewater Systems.  Finally, Dr Maryam Moslehi from CDM Smith will discuss the latest status of COVID-vaccines.

Jochen’s research focusses on monitoring of trace organic pollutants, including pioneering work on sources, fate, monitoring techniques (including development of passive sampling techniques) and trends in human exposure to trace contaminants. More recently his group has been leading research in the field of wastewater epidemiology.Jochen joined QAEHS in 1997 and was awarded an ARC Future Fellowship in 2012 to understand changes in chemical exposure through integrative sampling and systematic archiving. As part of his research program at QAEHS he has lead numerous national and international studies, such as Australia's National Dioxin Program, the Brominated Flame Retardant Program and a major study to investigate bush-fire emissions (the results of which are included in the UNEP Toolkit). Jochen’s work on passive samplers, bioanalytical techniques for emerging chemicals and wastewater epidemiology has received support from ARC and numerous industry partners.


Dr Maryam Moslehi is a health scientist from CDM Smith and provides technical support for toxicology/health risk assessment projects through her research experiences in toxicity assays, chemicals and environmental stress signalling pathways characterisation. Her PhD project focus was on investigating the role of Doublecortin X (DCX) in neurodevelopmental disorders such as epilepsy. During her PhD, Maryam worked in a close-knit team of researchers from different disciplines that boosts her technical as well as problem-solving skills to pursue different projects until completion. Her PhD research findings resulted in publication of three peer-reviewed research papers in prestigious journals (including Nature Publishing Group).  


Dan Deere is a consulting water microbiologist. He provides independent specialist support to water services providers and environmental health departments on water quality science, management, assessment and certification. Prior roles included: Program Manager for Cooperative Research Centre for Water Quality and Treatment (Australia); Principal Scientist and Manager of Science and Research at Sydney Catchment Authority; Water Quality Branch Manager at South East Water (Melbourne); Post-doctoral Research Fellow (Macquarie University; Royal Society; Wain Foundation); Water-for-Injection Validation Scientist at Evans Medical (UK) and PhD Student at University of Liverpool and Institute of Freshwater Ecology (UK). Dan provides technical support to various guideline committees covering health-related aspects of drinking, recycled and recreational water in Australia and internationally.

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Wednesday 11am September 9, 2020

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Michal Grigor
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