Goulburn Valley Water has started testing Shepparton’s sewerage for COVID-19.
It is part of a wider project being carried out by a number of water authorities across Australia.
The testing aims to track and monitor the virus that causes the disease and helps trace its persistence in the Australian sewerage network and identify locations and clusters where the virus is present.
GV Water service delivery general manager Daniel Flanagan said it was a nationally important piece of research to be involved in, particularly for tracking the virus in regional Victoria.
“This research will help us understand how the virus is spreading within Shepparton through a community-wide approach, and also to monitor for any re-emergence of the virus in the future,” Mr Flanagan said.
“It will also provide evidence to help health authorities understand the effects of measures to slow the spread of coronavirus, particularly in monitoring any potential easing of restrictions,” he said.
Weekly samples will be taken from the inflow point at the Shepparton Wastewater Management Facility on Daldy Rd and will be transported to a laboratory in Melbourne to be analysed alongside other samples from across the state.
The project also has potential to ensure Australia is more prepared to face future epidemic outbreaks and help understand disease prevalence in communities.
While the transmission in wastewater does not pose an additional risk, GV Water staff are taking additional precautionary measures as part of the organisation’s coronavirus response.
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