The Water Research Foundation (WRF) is seeking laboratories to participate in an interlaboratory and methods assessment of the SARS-CoV-2 genetic signal in wastewater. 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. Currently, the project is focused on North America, primarily within the United States. However, we invite international laboratories to signal interest in participation as opportunities for partnerships are evaluated. Participating laboratories must have experience analyzing wastewater samples for the genetic signal of SARS-COV-2, be able to describe their method(s), and comply with the specified quality assurance protocols.
Based on the responses, WRF will compile a list of qualified potential participating laboratories and include them in an upcoming Request for Qualifications (RFQ). The purpose of the RFQ is to identify a research team to assist WRF in evaluating existing methods and testing reliability for the genetic signal of SARS-CoV-2. The selected research team will work in partnership with WRF to evaluate and select the participating laboratories. The research team will then set up the trial between selected participating laboratories, assess the methods used, perform statistical analyses, and compare test results. The research team will also prepare a report showcasing the assessment results. The project is anticipated to be completed within 6–8 weeks.
If you are interested in participating, please fill out the Interlaboratory Assessment Participation Form and click the “Send” button located at the bottom of the form. Submissions are due by 4 PM MDT on June 2, 2020.