The City of Burlington, VT leverages innovative wastewater-based epidemiology program for COVID-19

Burlington’s latest step to keep its residents safe is deploying GoAigua’s comprehensive sewer surveillance platform and methodology to detect coronavirus outbreaks early.

The forward-thinking City of Burlington, Vermont has selected GoAigua’s Wastewater-based Epidemiology Program to detect and stop the spread of COVID-19. GoAigua has deployed its proven sewer surveillance program in partnership with the Fort Collins-based laboratory, GT Molecular, which includes integrating sampling data from different wastewater plants and manhole locations, into its SARS Analytics Platform where it is combined with demographic, socioeconomic, health, and water-consumption data in real time. By synthesizing information from multiple data streams, GoAigua serves up recommendations and guidelines in accordance with those set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

This program effectively enables the detection of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater at the sewershed level, and potentially neighborhood and building levels. Burlington selected GoAigua and GT Molecular’s leading team of epidemiologists, water engineers, and industry experts to design a detailed sampling plan to help the city accomplish its goals such as keeping schools and universities open and protecting its residents. Burlington and GoAigua are especially emphasizing protecting high-risk residents by closely monitoring key areas such as nursing homes.

“After a competitive proposal process, the City of Burlington selected GoAigua to implement this phase of its Wastewater-based Epidemiology Program because of their proven expertise in water, wastewater, and analytics. Their data-centric platform creates actionable, real-time insights that will help us make informed decisions to keep our residents healthy during this difficult time,” says Carolyn Felix of the City of Burlington’s Innovation Office.

In addition, Burlington officials and the Vermont Department of Health are working alongside the GoAigua team to catch outbreaks early, understand how the coronavirus is spreading, proactively take action, and direct testing to the most affected areas. This program is integrated with other city-level actions and initiatives to keep the population of Vermont’s largest city safe. This program has been scaled up quickly to ensure it is in place before the winter months, given expert opinion that the coming months may be exceptionally dangerous with the combination of COVID-19 and the seasonal flu.

Since the early days of the pandemic, GoAigua has been rapidly deploying this program in cities around the world. To date, GoAigua is monitoring over 10 million citizens in over 20 cities, and has the largest global Wastewater-based Epidemiology Program in operation.

Related articles