Catalan Water Research Institute research and innovation for the sustainable use of water

The ICRA will participate in the temporary SARS-CoV-2 surveillance program in Catalan wastewater for the years 2021-2022

Wednesday, 30 December 2020

The Government of the Generalitat has approved the creation of the temporary SARS-CoV-2 monitoring program in Catalan wastewater for the period 2021-2022, which can be extended for another three years. It will be promoted by the Public Health Secretariat of the Department of Health and the Catalan Water Agency of the Department of Territory and Sustainability. and coordinated by the Catalan Water Research Institute (ICRA). Wastewater analyzes will be carried out by 3 laboratories: the Laboratory of Molecular Biology of Enteric Viruses of the UB, the Laboratory of Contaminating Water and Food Viruses of the UB, and the Biotechnology Area of ​​Eurecat (Reus ).

The aim of the Program is to quantitatively analyze the genetic traces of the virus in waste water from sewage treatment plants (WWTP) in Catalonia to provide an additional indicator of the state of the situation of the Covid-19 pandemic and detect new outbreaks in advance. This Program must allow the evolution of the circulation of the virus to be known in the different sampled areas and must provide useful and complementary information when determining the preventive and control actions for the management of this pandemic .

Within the framework of the Program, a composite sample of 24 hours of residual water will be collected every week or every fortnight, as the case may be, from the inlet collectors of 56 WWTPs distributed throughout the country and will be transported properly preserved and refrigerated , to the relevant laboratories that will analyze them. The results will be displayed on an online platform ( where you can see all the WWTPs sampled and a scale with a range of colors that will identify their circulation in terms of detected concentration, as well as the trend that it will indicate whether it is up, stable or down.

The Program has an annual budget of 947,430 euros, which is borne by the budgets of the two departments involved, Health and Territory and Sustainability.

Government press