Ensuring safety and health at work is essential. Public and private organizations are aware that it is as important to ensure it as it is to anticipate it by offering tools that help to reinforce health and safety systems in the workplace. This is the only way to achieve the necessary resilience to face, in the best possible way, the crises and events that we are dealing with.
Under this premise, at Cetaqua we are working to respond to this challenge by developing projects that put people’s safety at the center. Thanks to the REVEAL project it has been possible to help in the management of the health crisis caused by COVID-19, anticipating possible outbreaks in populations. The European H2020 PathoCERT project, on the other hand, aims to strengthen the capabilities of first responders in the event of water contamination by pathogens caused by events such as floods, earthquakes or spills.
REVEAL as a tool to anticipate possible SARS-CoV-2 outbreaks in the population
World Day for Safety and Health at Work, proclaimed by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and celebrated every April 28, focuses on the need to invest in resilient occupational safety and health systems to anticipate, prepare for and respond to crises.
Our response to the COVID-19 crisis was based on resilience and collaboration, which enabled us to develop projects with a direct impact on society. This is the case of the REVEAL project, led by Cetaqua with the collaboration and experience of entities such as Labaqua, Aigües de Barcelona, Aguas de Alicante, CASSA, the University of Barcelona, the Polytechnic University of Barcelona and the University of Santiago de Compostela, among others.
This project has been able to demonstrate the absence of SARS-CoV-2 genetic material in the catchment of drinking water treatment plants or reclaimed water, as well as the presence of such genetic material in the entrance and exit of the WWTP (Wastewater Treatment Plants) that treated water in areas affected by Covid-19. This study has made it possible to develop COVID-19 City Sentinel, from SUEZ Spain, a tool for epidemiological surveillance of the infection according to the degree of prevalence of the disease in the population. In this way, it is possible to monitor the evolution of the virus in wastewater and help agencies manage possible new outbreaks in the population in advance.
PathoCERT, the solution to ensure the safety of first responders
During emergency response operations, first responders are at risk of being exposed to dangerous pathogens (such as norovirus, E. coli, and V. cholerae).
The lack of availability and validation of technologies to operate during events such as floods, earthquakes and rescue operations, among others, has led to the creation of PathoCERT, a European project that aims to strengthen the capabilities of first responders. On the one hand, by coordinating the responses of emergency teams to pathogen contamination events; on the other hand, by protecting them and helping them to detect the presence of pathogens accurately and in real-time and to improve the capacity to control contamination events by mitigating the risks.
An international consortium of 22 institutions, including Cetaqua, coordinated by the KIOS Research and Innovation Center (University of Cyprus), will focus its efforts on developing and evaluating specialized technologies, tools and procedures for dealing with emergencies and investigating events involving potential waterborne pathogen contamination events.