120Water Announces Partnership to Monitor COVID-19 in Illinois Wastewater
INDIANAPOLIS, June 10, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- 120Water announced today that it has been selected to conduct a statewide COVID-19 wastewater surveillance program in partnership with the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and Discovery Partners Institute (DPI). The year-long initiative will provide county-level data to public health officials, equipping them with early warnings of any re-emerging COVID-19 outbreaks statewide.
Because the virus that causes COVID-19 is detectable in human waste, a regular wastewater monitoring program can serve as a leading indicator of outbreaks and changes within a community. Though this process doesn't require testing individuals, it serves as a thumbprint public health officials can use to assess the presence or emergence of the disease.
"Ongoing monitoring of the virus that causes COVID-19 is a critical data point to monitor, particularly as communities across Illinois and the nation re-open more fully," said Megan Glover, co-founder and chief executive officer of 120Water. "Our goal is to partner with researchers and public health officials across the state. Through our platform, we're able to provide solutions that public health officials need to make informed, real-time decisions that guide critical actions that protect public health."
"We needed an experienced partner to ramp this up quickly," added harlie Catlett, a senior research scientist at the Discovery Partners Institute. "We needed a team well-versed in the logistics, but also capable of providing training and outreach to our partners in each of the Illinois communities participating in the project."
The 120 Water monitoring solution will include twice-per-week sampling at water treatment facilities, training and logistical support for treatment facility staff and coordination with laboratory testing officials. Sampling began this month in 10 Illinois counties including Carroll, Cass, Franklin, Fulton, Jefferson, Lawrence, Livingston, Macon, Montgomery and Vermilion. The program will expand to 35 counties mid-summer and to all 102 counties by January of 2022.
120Water's platform will be used to support DPI - a research partner to IDPH - and IDPH officials with a comprehensive analysis of COVID-19 prevalence across the state and at the community level, enabling public health officials to identify trends and provide timely public health guidance.
**B-roll related to wastewater testing is available via this link.**
Water professionals nationwide rely on 120Water to automate their most complex water sampling programs. 120Water combines sample and filter kits, modern software, and professional services to manage costs, enhance efficiency and streamline compliance requirements. 120Water solutions are used by water systems, municipalities and government agencies across the United States, including the city of Newark (NJ), Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority, Chicago Public Schools, and Indiana Finance Authority. More information is available at 120Water.com and on Twitter @120_Water.
ABOUT DISCOVERY PARTNERS INSTITUTE
The Discovery Partners Institute empowers people to jumpstart their tech careers or companies in Chicago. Led by the University of Illinois System in partnership with top research universities, it does three things: Train people for high-demand tech jobs; conduct applied R&D; and support Chicago's tech community. With state investment and a new innovation district in development, DPI has the resources to attract, develop, and leverage the most ambitious people and companies the region has to offer — and keep them here.
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