Center for Environmental and Wastewater Epidemiological Research
Welcome to the Center for Environmental and Wastewater-based Epidemiological Research (CEWER) at the University of Delaware. The COVID-19 global pandemic has created an unprecedented public health situation that requires a unique response to track and prevent an overwhelming spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Surveillance of wastewater can provide an additional source of information to be incorporated with ongoing epidemiological efforts.
CEWER is leading local efforts in detection of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater and connecting the presence of the virus to epidemiological and clinical case data. Perhaps most importantly, CEWER is connecting this information to the current and growing scientific knowledge-base for the development of a framework to assess small catchments such as schools, hospitals, and businesses. Through this work, CEWER aims to Increase our understanding of SARS-CoV-2 and the forecasting of COVID-19 that can be provided by wastewater analysis.
Microbial and disease trend analysis in wastewater has a long history including surveillance of poliovirus, hepatitis A virus, cholera, and antibiotic resistance. From the start of the 2020 calendar year, scientists around the globe have detected SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater. Over time, disease cases and detected viral RNA amounts can be monitored and trend analysis can be useful in informing testing and in enhancing our understanding of virus circulation.