Bureau Veritas announced that it is now offering testing for the SARS-CoV-2 virus in wastewater samples through a large laboratory network in Canada. This testing is performed in support of wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) services for identifying and monitoring community COVID-19 outbreaks across Canada.

“Bureau Veritas has been a leader in wastewater testing services for over 40 years, ensuring the safety of our communities and the protection of aquatic habitats,” said Dr. Terry Obal, chief science advisor of Bureau Veritas North America. “We are excited to expand our service offering to include the detection of SARS-CoV-2 and provide data that ultimately, can guide and assist public health efforts.”

Bureau Veritas is offering a validated reverse transcriptase quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) method for measuring the SARS CoV-2 virus in municipal wastewater (sanitary sewer) samples. To launch this service, Bureau Veritas worked with various academic institutions, industry associations, and government stakeholders to develop and validate the RT-qPCR method. It also took part in inter-laboratory round-robin testing to confirm the method’s accuracy and reliability.

Wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) is a rapidly growing field that monitors the health and behavior of a population by testing for viral indicators in wastewater samples.  The concentration of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in wastewater can provide a quick and accurate snapshot of the prevalence of COVID-19 in the community at large.

Monitoring changes in daily concentrations of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in municipal wastewater presents a potentially predictive tool that can help direct proactive and targeted public health actions. WBE monitoring of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in wastewater may also offer a measure of the effectiveness of community vaccination programs.

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