COVID-19 Analysis in Wastewater
Through advanced laboratory capabilities and expertise in Coronavirus research, the University of Arizona Water and Energy Sustainable Technology Center (WEST) has initiated a monitoring program to allow Coronavirus sewage surveillance for interested wastewater treatment plants. This presents an opportunity to test for COVID-19 in your wastewater and an ability to assess its presence in your community. Drs. Gerba and Pepper at the University of Arizona are able to determine whether COVID-19 has been shed in your community and if so, what percentage of it remains viable. Both tests on influent run about $1600 (though they recommend also testing effluent). Our understanding is that a MIT/Harvard group (BioBot) is also offering this analysis. If you are interested in learning more please follow this link to find contact and application information along with detailed cost data at the U of AZ. Please let Greg Kester  know if you have any questions.

Recycled Water Volumetric Annual Reporting – COVID-19 Exceptions
In anticipation of the recycled water volumetric annual reporting due on April 30, 2020, the State Water Board released multiple materials including a FAQ and a Help Guide for Geotracker to assist over 900 permittees in understanding and complying with changes to monitoring and reporting programs for WDRs, NPDES permits, water reclamation requirements, master recycling permits, and general waste discharge requirements. The State Water Board is considering requests for extension of this deadline for agencies affected by the COVID-19 emergency. Requests will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and Water Board staff have offered to work with individual agencies to identify the best solution. Those requests should be submitted via email to Rebecca Greenwood and the recycled water inbox.

CalWARN: Emergency Preparedness and Response
The California Water/Wastewater Agency Response Network (CalWARN) is an affiliation intended to assist the water and wastewater sector cope with emergencies such as the COVID-19 crisis. Their mission is to support and promote statewide emergency preparedness, disaster response, and mutual assistance processes for public and private water and wastewater utilities. The new CalWARN Web Portal expands utilities’ ability to achieve agency, regional and state preparedness by providing new tools and proven practices. The CalWARN Program provides its member utilities with:

  • A standard omnibus mutual assistance agreement and process for sharing emergency resources among Signatories statewide.
  • The resources to respond and recover more quickly from a disaster.
  • A mutual assistance program consistent with other statewide mutual aid programs.
  • A forum for developing and maintaining emergency contacts and relationships.
  • New ideas from lessons learned in disasters

Many CASA members may already belong to CalWARN, though you may need to update your agency’s contact and other information. Perhaps most relevant during the current crisis, CalWARN can assist agencies by pairing those with deficiencies with those possessing excess resources such as, for example, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) or disinfectant. Information on how to sign up, or check if you already are, and how to maximize use of this resource is at