Friday, May 29, 2020

Sewage in focus

EPA aims to develop coronavirus test, start pilot project

An aerial view of the East Bay Municipal Utility District Wastewater Treatment Plant on April 29, 2020 in Oakland, Calif. Raw sewage could be a new element of states' coronavirus surveillance efforts once the EPA completes its new research pilot project. JUSTIN SULLIVAN

Getty Images


Raw sewage could be a new element of states’ coronavirus surveillance efforts once the U.S. EPA completes a new research pilot project. The agency is testing sewage as a potential indicator of the number of symptomatic and asymptomatic coronavirus cases across entire communities. The EPA is looking to develop a coronavirus test method over the next four to six weeks, while simultaneously starting a 6-month pilot project with the city of Cincinnati, Ohio.


Scientists expect shutdowns to aid water quality

North Carolina State University

Researchers have mapped declines in air pollution after lockdowns were imposed around the world in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, but those are not the only environmental impacts they expect to see. They think the cleaner air could also mean cleaner water — at least in the short term. “The connection between atmosphere and surface water quality is very tight,” said Dennis Hallema, a researcher at North Carolina State University.


Tiny, self-assembling traps capture PFAS

University at Buffalo

University at Buffalo chemists have shown that self-assembling molecular traps can be used to capture PFAS — dangerous pollutants that have contaminated drinking water supplies around the world. The traps are made from iron-based and organic building blocks that connect, like Legos, to form a tetrahedral cage.