Wastewater Based Epidemiology


Wastewater Based Epidemiology
Or As We Are Sometimes Called, Poop Sleuths

Wastewater Based Epidemiology

Wastewater Based Epidemiology is the study of water that comes down the drain in order to get a snapshot of the health of the community. It’s a field that’s gaining a lot more attention recently and it works for two very simple reasons: 

   1. In any given community: Some people get tested. Others go to the hospital. Everyone goes to the bathroom. 

   2. Our wastewater contains evidence about our personal health. Or in other words, everything comes down to poo.

Everything we consume, from the foods we eat, to the consumer products we use, to the pharmaceuticals we take, to the pathogens inside of us; all of them are shed into our wastewater. And everything that we shed leaves behind a marker of some kind.

From drug addiction rates to viral outbreaks, one of the most useful and honest tools communities have at their disposal is the information that comes down the drain.

To schedule a virtual wastewater based epidemiology lesson, please contact Ben Lavender at blavender@centralsan.org or (925)-768-2857.

To use our self guided resources, please find the accordion tables below that direct you to the posts on this page.

Why Do We Clean Our Dirty Water?

The answer to why we clean our dirty water may seem obvious today, but not so long ago it was a complete mystery.

Read the Story of John Snow and his pioneering work during the Cholera Epidemic of 1854. There you can follow along with his maps to better understand how disease spreads in a community.

Learn more about the connection between Diseases and Wastewater.

How Do We Clean Our Dirty Water?

Take our Virtual Treatment Plant Tour and wander through our plant at your own speed. 

Or sign your class up for a Guided Q & A Session, and take a virtural plant tour with one of our educators.

What Does This Have To Do With The Covid-19 Pandemic?

Listen to Amanda’s Presentation on wastewater based epidemiology and Central San’s role monitoring public health in the Bay Area. Or check out our Frequently Asked Questions page for more information

Read All About how wastewater based epidemiology is being used around the world to stop the spread of Covid-19

Check out All The Resources from around the globe to understand how wastewater based epidemiology is being used to support public health agencies.

Learn more about Coronaviruses and what we have learned from study different coronavirus outbreaks worldwide.