Torrevieja test waste water for Coronavirus clues

Torrevieja is following the lead of several cities across the globe by testing its waste water for the presence of Covid-19. The Mayor, Eduardo Dolón, said that “through this innovative ‘City Sentinel’ tool, Torrevieja will be able to anticipate possible outbreaks, as the presence of the virus is detected in the water before the first symptoms appear in affected people”.
Torrevieja City Council, through a joint venture with AGAMED, the company that manages the integral water cycle, has launched COVID-19 CITY SENTINEL, a wastewater monitoring program to pinpoint the presence of the SARS-CoV virus- two. The technology allows detecting remains of the coronavirus genetic material in the wastewater and quantifying its evolution.
This innovative tool has been developed by SUEZ Spain, a business group to which Hidraqua, a company owned by AGAMED belongs, to monitor the incidence virus through the analysis of wastewater and anticipate the appearance of possible new outbreaks in the population.
Collaboration with experts, led by Dr. Albert Bosch, a world-renowned specialist in the field of aquatic virology attached to the University of Barcelona, will guarantee the validation of adapted sampling plans whose sampling points and frequency will be adjusted according to population criteria and epidemiological.
The samples will be taken to LABAQUA, a national reference laboratory for the implementation of PCR techniques for environmental matrices, which will be able to deliver reliable data in less than 48 hours. Finally, these data, property of Torrevieja City Council, will be uploaded on a platform for their study, analysis and transfer of the data to the relevant authorities. In addition, permanent international collaboration allows the city to incorporate the latest findings in this field to the global situation.
This solution has been developed based on the results of the research study launched a few months ago by SUEZ, aimed at characterising the SARS-CoV-2 virus in surface water, wastewater and sewage sludge, in order to monitor the degree of incidence of COVID-19 and its evolution, as well as having an early warning system for possible future outbreaks of the disease. The project has positioned itself as the most comprehensive study carried out in Spain and has also been integrated into the European Wastewater Monitoring System initiative for the Surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 of the European Commission and the General Directorate for the European Environment, with the support of Water Europe, EurEau and the UN (Environment Program).