Collect. Detect. Inform.
Through wastewater monitoring, we track twelve infectious diseases across the country and share our findings here.
Wastewater talks. We listen.
Wastewater (sewage) is anything but waste. It can provide valuable insights. Scientific advances have made it possible to detect traces of infectious diseases in wastewater — everything from respiratory and gastrointestinal viruses to fungal infections. And the data collected from testing wastewater over time (called “wastewater monitoring”) can be used to inform public health or personal decisions.
Wastewater monitoring is efficient, reliable, and anonymous. Samples are collected at sewage treatment plants, where everyone’s waste is combined. Testing these samples can detect infectious diseases even if people don’t feel sick. It can give public health officials a heads up before they start seeing positive tests or increases in people seeking treatment. In short, it can help inform what people do to protect their health.
Wastewater samples are collected from participating sewage treatment plants in nearly 200 locations across 36 states, serving more than 42 million people.
Infectious diseases are detected by analyzing wastewater samples from an entire community for traces of genes from various infectious diseases that make millions of people in the U.S. sick every year.
Levels and Trends
Public health officials and participating communities are informed through our public data dashboard that displays infectious disease levels and trends.
Since all sewage from a specific location is combined, it identifies no individual person or household.
Pathogens We Monitor
A pathogen is something that causes an infectious disease, such as the influenza virus (flu), which is common during fall and winter. We provide community-level monitoring for the most critical seasonal and emerging infectious diseases circulating in the U.S.