Advertisement

Wastewater sample shows small concentration of virus related to COVID-19

The test noted this coincided with the two reported cases of the virus in Kennebec County.
Greater Augusta Utility District
Greater Augusta Utility District(WABI)
Published: Aug. 18, 2020 at 5:33 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) - The City of Augusta says a wastewater sample has shown a very small concentration of COVID-19.

The test noted this coincided with the two reported cases of the virus in Kennebec County.

Augusta partnered with the Greater Augusta Utility District or GAUD to test for the presence of COVID-19 in local wastewater.

GAUD is working with Biobot, which tests sewage for genetic fragments of the virus in human waste.

This helps determine the amount of COVID-19 in the community to inform decisions related to re-opening and re-emergence.

“It’s more immediate, the feedback, and proactive rather than reactive. When you rely on people who present with symptoms or hospitalizations it’s a very narrow band or information that you’re gathering and making decisions or trying to draw conclusions from,” said Keith Luke, Economic Development Director for the city of Augusta. “This is a much broader based testing and really gives us a snapshot of just how widespread it is in the community.”

The wastewater tested by GAUD comes from thousands of homeowners, commercial establishments and industries in Augusta, Hallowell, Manchester, Monmouth and Winthrop.

It's collected through a system of underground pipes that flow into a wastewater collection system.

The testing is funded by a grant through the CDC.

Copyright 2020 WABI. All rights reserved.