Company releases solution for COVID-19 detection using wastewater testing

120Water, a digital water platform for modern sample management and compliance, announced a new program that can provide early detection of COVID-19 outbreaks by testing wastewater for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA that is shed by infected persons.

According to current research, the testing of wastewater sewage for SARS-CoV-2 RNA may provide a seven day leading indicator of outbreaks compared to other compiled testing data.

“We know that the onset of COVID-19 symptoms can take up to 14 days to appear in symptomatic individuals, and may never appear in true asymptomatic carriers,” said Megan Glover, Co-founder & CEO of 120Water. “There is great interest in being able to detect hotspots early so the spread can be mitigated.”

The 120Water platform aggregates all wastewater plant data, triggers the shipping of sample kits, routes completed samples to a lab, consolidates lab results, and displays results on an easy to read dashboard. Using this data, clients are able to share findings with their health department or a board certified epidemiologist. Wastewater operators can choose to have 120Water manage the program, or they can manage it themselves and use 120Water to track and report on samples. 120Water will train wastewater plant operators to ensure consistent and reliable data collection.

The company has deep experience at managing highly complex water programs for cities including Denver, Pittsburgh and Newark, N.J. By tapping into its vast network of labs, including Microbac Laboratories, 120Water is the only company offering an end-to-end solution that includes software, services, sampling kits, and lab load balancing that ensures wastewater testing results are returned within six days from sample receipt.

“This program is a natural step in applying our vast knowledge of how to manage the complex logistics and data required to make water sampling programs work at scale. As such, we are ideally positioned to provide the largest network of wastewater monitoring programs for COVID-19 in the United States,” said Glover.

Scientists believe humans begin shedding the virus RNA up to five days prior to average symptom onset. Most individuals do not seek testing until symptoms are present, which can be between five and 14 days after initial exposure. After testing, results may not be available for two to 14 days. This greatly delays the ability of municipalities, communal living facilities and colleges to contain the spread of the virus.

For more information on 120Water, please visit and on Twitter @120_Water.

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