GNWPCD Announces WasteWater Test For COVID-19

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The Great Neck Water Pollution Control District (GNWPCD) is proud to announce that it is among the first wastewater treatment facilities on Long Island to participate in a new wastewater testing initiative established by Governor Kathy Hochul. The initiative, in partnership with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Syracuse University, sees researchers study wastewater for evidence of COVID-19 throughout the state as a means to better and more accurately predict case trends in these communities.
“The more we learn about the coronavirus and where it remains present in our community, the closer we can get to emerging from this pandemic,” said GNWPCD Chairwoman Patty Katz. “This initiative undertaken by Governor Hochul and the DEC will provide the opportunity to capture new data sets that can be used as a gauge of infection trends. The GNWPCD is excited to be a part of this and we are looking forward to seeing the benefits it will bring to the Great Neck Peninsula and to New York State as a whole.”
The state launched a pilot program of this initiative in select communities throughout New York last year, and it was found that wastewater surveillance can successfully provide up to three to five days of early warning of spikes or drops in COVID-19 cases in a community. Now that the study is expanding throughout the state, researchers will be able to establish a baseline around which to judge the threat of COVID-19 in any particular area’s wastewater. In turn, this enables researchers to identify which communities are the most at-risk, thereby indicating areas of the state whose residents need the most aid. Not only is the testing of wastewater for COVID-19 an excellent way to determine the severity of the virus’s presence in the community, but it is also cost-effective and non-invasive as there is no need for human interaction during these studies.
The GNWPCD is always at the forefront of waste management technology on Long Island, something which is punctuated by this trailblazing effort to study the area’s wastewater for COVID-19. The potential benefits of this study are tremendous, and residents of the Great Neck Peninsula will be among the first on Long Island to see them.
—Submitted by the GNWPCD

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