Real-time COVID‑19 detection in wastewater from long-term care homes
The need for clean water is constant for communities across Canada. With growing concerns related to organic pollutants entering the water supply, the treatment of drinking water and water systems including wastewater, and their health effects a need has been sown. On top of this, the requirement for rapid, high accuracy and low cost wastewater sensors is prevalent due to the COVID‑19 pandemic now.
Currently MANTECH of Guelph-Canada is working to develop an infection outbreak prediction technology in collaboration with the Nano and Micro System Lab of the University of Waterloo. The long term nursing homes are screened by testing the black water from these homes discharge collected in a wastewater collection system one or two times each day. This technology is non-specific to the disease itself, simply a change in the established baseline. The goal of the partnership between MANTECH and NMSL is to develop a critical photo-nano-electro-mechanical-systems (P-NEMS) technology to manufacture smart hybrid water sensors for current and future disease prediction and detection. This technology will have an invaluable impact on human health research efforts to contain the COVID‑19 and possible future pandemic spread, and put Ontario and Canada far ahead of similar efforts worldwide. The proposed training will educate and train interns as tomorrow’s leading scientists and technologists addressing the “gap in knowledge, expertise and training in connected technologies and smart sensors”, indicated by the Infrastructure Canada (IC).