The Water Research Foundation (WRF) released a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to identify a research team to lead a project evaluating existing methods and testing reliability for the genetic signal for SARS-CoV-2 in untreated wastewater. The selected research team will assess the existing methods used by laboratories (see the RFQ for a list of potential laboratories) and perform statistical analyses and comparison of the test results. This project was identified as a high-priority research need during WRF’s recent International Water Research Summit on Environmental Surveillance of COVID-19 Indicators.
The primary goal of this project is to provide an assessment of the methods currently used at several laboratories and facilities to determine which method(s) provide a reliable and repeatable measurement of the SARS-CoV-2 genetic signal (i.e., copies of RNA) in untreated wastewater. This project will not involve the development of a new standard method, nor will it focus on wastewater sampling and collection methods. The project results will provide much-needed information on preferred methods to use when performing analyses for wastewater surveillance studies and to understand the limits of detection for existing methods.
Please refer to the RFQ for a more detailed summary of the project, team qualification requirements, specific project objectives, QA/QC requirements, and additional instructions.