Wastewater Covid detectors may soon be crucial in finding coronavirus hotspots

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Wastewater Covid detectors could play crucial part in finding hotspots (REUTERS)
Wastewater Covid detectors could play crucial part in finding hotspots (REUTERS)

New technology looking at wastewater could soon play a crucial role in the early detection of Covid19 hotspots around the world.

DeepVerge PLC is ready to launch its Covid-19 water contamination system across Europe after completing field trials.

The Microtox PD wastewater units allows data to identify the source of Covid cases and the location and size of coronavirus clusters at the same time.

During experiments, the system managed to pick up and transmit data on coronavirus particles in wastewater treatment plants at multiple sites.

Now its environmental health division has signed a master service agreement with EPS Group to install and manage Microtox PD units which have the potential to be installed in multiple European counties, subject to negotiation.

DeepVerge chief executive Gerard Brandon said: “The successful completion of the Phase 3 field trials clearly demonstrates the capability and value of Microtox PD to identify dangerous pathogens, including SARS-CoV-2, in real-time.

“By establishing a permanent, anonymised mass surveillance of wastewater, DeepVerge claims a world first real-time defence against this global pandemic.”

As the data builds, the AI system can predict how much future clusters of Covid or other viruses might grow.

The company now hope to offer the service for public and private clients across the European wastewater sector.

Updates are also expected from a joint venture agreement with China Resources and roll-out in the US to follow this autumn.

Patrick Buckley, EPS group managing director, said the firm is now “ready to make this happen.”

“With 550 personnel, our largest footprint in the water, wastewater pumping and treatment services sector across Europe, EPS Group engineers are ready to make this happen,” he said.

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