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Blockages to Sewer Monitoring

Only a dozen states have signed on to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's wastewater monitoring effort, according to Politico.

The Verge notes that the monitoring system, called the National Wastewater Surveillance System, launched in 2020 to collect data on levels of SARS-CoV-2 at various wastewater treatment facilities. That way, it says, officials can get a sense of when and where COVID-19 cases are about are about to go up, as wastewater viral levels tend to increase before cases do.

But Politico writes that only 12 states routinely provide data to the system and that a few other states provide data just from major metropolitan centers. Further, it says that the data that is provided can be spotty. Other states, meanwhile, have no plans to join.

It adds that hurdles to the program include privacy concerns, funding issues, and logistical challenges, and even though the CDC partnered with a private lab, LuminUltra, to help wastewater treatment facilities collect data, some were wary of working with the company.

To make the program successful, Syracuse University's David Larsen tells Politico that federal lawmakers would need to provide at least $100 million a year.

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