The Loxahatchee River District (LRD) is conducting Wastewater Surveillance to monitor trends of infection rates of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, within our sewer system area, which serves approximately 100,000 customers.
Wastewater, or sewage, is water from our toilets, shower, and sinks and contains human waste. This wastewater is transported and treated at LRD’s Wastewater Treatment Facility. LRD is working with Biobot Analytics, a leader in molecular testing of wastewater for SARS-CoV-2, to assess the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 virus fragments in our untreated wastewater samples collected over a 24hr period at LRD’s Treatment Facility.
These SARS-CoV-2 virus fragments are shed from individuals infected with the virus, including both symptomatic and asymptomatic infections. Because individuals shed huge amounts of SARS-CoV-2 early in their infection, even before symptoms, wastewater surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 virus fragments is a proven early indicator of COVID-19 infection rates in a community. Research has shown the relative abundance of SARS-CoV-2 virus fragments in wastewater samples correlates with and precedes clinical cases within the community by 5 to 14 days.
LRD is presently testing our wastewater for SARS-CoV-2 virus fragments twice per month. Below we provide graphical summaries of virus fragment concentrations alongside clinical cases obtained from the Florida Department of Health for zip codes 33458, 33477 and 33469, which generally overlap with our sewer service area. Also below are Biobot’s Laboratory Reports, links to more information, and our proposed schedule for sampling.
- Wastewater results updated upon receipt; NOTICE: As of June 7, 2021, FDOH is no longer publishing the clinical case counts by zip code.
- To view the panel of four charts full screen, click on the double arrows on the lower right of the charts panel. Press Esc to exit full screen.
- To expand a single chart, hover on the chart, then click on the square with arrow in the upper right of the chart (named Focus mode), or for a mobile device tap on the chart. To return to the panel of four charts, click on the Back to Report button on the upper left.
- If there is a usually high FDOH case count (e.g. double the previous observation) that follows a gap or zero reading, our automated data download occurred before FDOH’s update. This data will be corrected.
- The CDC and other scientists recommend the data presentation shown in the lower right chart.
- Because of the exponential growth of viruses, the CDC and other scientists recommend the presentation of concentration data on a Log Scale (the figures with the orange line). Also, because of variability in the data, the CDC and other scientists advise monitoring the general trends of data, rather than the specific concentration of virus.
- Because of the variability in the daily case counts, the CDC and other scientists recommend presenting the 7-day rolling average of case counts.
Biobot’s Laboratory Reports
Links to More Information
- Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) Wastewater Surveillance
- Florida Department of Health COVID-19
- Palm Beach County COVID-19
- Biobot’s Science
- The Water Research Foundation COVID-19
- Palm Beach Post article featuring LRD’s Monitoring Program
- Loxahatchee River District featured in the scientific journal PLOS Global Public Health
Planned Sampling Schedule
- Schedule subject to change; last updated 6/16/2022
- Results are generally received and posted 3 days after sampling
|June 6 and 21, 2022||July 5 and 18, 2022||August 1 and 15, 2022|
|September 5 and 19, 2022||October 3 and 17, 2022||November 7 and 21, 2022|
|December 5 and 19, 2022|