Detection of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater.


Piloto Quilicura City Sentinel.

In July 2020, Cetaqua Chile, Aguas Andinas and a group of scientists from three Chilean universities began monitoring SARS-CoV-2 viral load (the virus that causes Covid-19) in wastewater from the municipality of Quilicura as part of a collaboration between companies and universities. This district, along with the Mapocho-Trebal, La Farfana and Curacaví biofactories, was selected to carry out the pilot study to quantify the virus in the wastewater and correlate these values with epidemiological data derived from the positivity rate of PCR tests in people with symptoms of the disease.

Through this research, we were able to define protocols for the quantification of SARS-CoV-2 viral load in wastewater in Chile, to define the lab capacity to conduct analytical protocols designed specifically for this purpose, as well as the methodology for cross-checking with available epidemiological data.

Lastly, the City Sentinel online platform has been developed to assist with decision-making. The observatory provides a unique overview of aggregated data by combining the analytical results of viruses quantification with health indicators in the area of analysis. It can also help to focus more attention on critical and high-risk facilities and buildings, such as hospitals, nursing homes, as well as unique high-occupancy buildings.

Duration: July 2020 - December 2020
Partners: Aguas Andinas, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, Universidad Andrés Bello