Unlocking Wastewater Information Potential

Bison code: L.28274

Recently the COVID-19 pandemic provided an illustrative example of the potential information-content of wastewater. It turned out that a sudden increase in viral particles in the water preceded a local outbreak of the virus.

Being able to retrieve real-time information on a wide range of interesting markers and/or pollutants in wastewater, for example pathogens, medicine residues, frying fat, etc., offers a huge opportunity for different stakeholders to optimize their operations and decisions. From healthcare applications related to the monitoring and containment of virus-outbreaks to optimizing wastewater treatment with possible preventive measures to avoid pollutants entering the water system upstream and customized removal of specific pollutants downstream.

Measurement of various waterborne parameters asks for a robust, flexible and interchangeable sensor platform that can be linked to appropriate data processing. Hence, part of the upcoming project is developing a casing that allows integration of the various physical and biochemical sensors that have been proven to be applicable by previous (3S) research groups.

An operational (bio)sensor provides tremendous opportunity not only for maintaining water quality, but supporting public health in general in the form of an early warning system as well.

This project combines the preliminary research of two previous projects: Forensic Research meets Water and MEDiLOO. Both projects focused on concepts and applications for harvesting valuable information from wastewater. Combining the current state of research, the next challenge is to 1) develop in detail a remote (bio)sensor that functions in both large and small scale water systems and covers a range of detectable components, and 2) engage potential stakeholders as launching customer.

Cluster: Health Sensoring

This project contributes to the following Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):