Fund approved for COVID-19 dection through wastewater

Sep 18, 2020

Credit "Yelahanka Wastewater treatment plant, Bangalore" by India Water Portal is licensed with CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/

Testing wastewater can rapidly detect COVID-19 outbreaks on college campuses nursing homes and prisons.

Now the state has a 10-million dollar grant to develop a program testing local wastewater across Michigan.

The money comes from the federal CARES Act.

It will fund 19 wastewater testing labs and will be up and running in about two weeks.

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy says the coronavirus is shed in human waste, including by people who may not know they’re sick.

Because of that, testing wastewater can provide early warning of an outbreak.

Here’s EGLE spokesperson Scott Dean.

“It really gives you an opportunity to better target resources… better prepare for outbreaks," said Dean.

Dean says the Sleeping Bear Dunes has also expressed interest since it already uses a local lab for E coli testing of its lakeshore.