Colorado’s National Wastewater Monitoring System Receives Prestigious Designation


COLORADO. (KRDO) – The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), in collaboration with the University of Denver (DU), has been awarded the prestigious Center of Excellence (CoE) designation from the National Health System. wastewater monitoring (NWSS).

“It’s both humbling and inspiring to see the hard work of our team recognized,” says Corinne Lengsfeld, senior vice provost for research and higher education and co-director of the NWSS CoE, who led the monitoring efforts. wastewater at the University of Denver. . “The partnership between the DU and the CDPHE has enabled continuous innovation to provide a targeted response. As the variants of COVID-19 changed, we adapted the techniques in real time. This collaboration provides a foundation for innovation to meet future needs by embracing both organizations’ missions of serving the public good through technological advancements, training and partnership building.

The CDPHE is one of only two winners selected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for this designation.

“It is an honor to be recognized for the work our team has invested in wastewater monitoring. Wastewater data, when assessed in combination with other measures of disease burden, have proven to be a valuable public health surveillance tool during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Allison. Wheeler, Head of Waterborne Diseases Unit and Co-Lead of NWSS CoE, CDPHE.

Due to the Center of Excellence designation, the CDPHE and DU will serve as subject matter experts. They will provide training, consultation and resources to other public health entities interested in starting their own wastewater monitoring programs.

The CDPHE will also work with the CDC to develop ways to test for other pathogens in wastewater samples.

They will also work closely with the Houston group that received the same designation. Together, the groups will develop training and practice document templates. In addition to evaluating and improving data analysis, and improving the usefulness of wastewater data.

Since August 2020, CDPHE has been working with the Colorado Wastewater Utilities to monitor COVID-19 in wastewater. Wastewater monitoring allows public health officials to identify the presence of a virus in a community before receiving clinical test results. This method helps estimate disease trends within a community, as it can capture data on people who are asymptomatic or likely not to be tested.

Currently, the state’s wastewater treatment program includes 55 participating utilities, and we continue to integrate other utilities throughout the state.


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