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DHS/NIST Workshop: Standards to Support an Enduring Capability in Wastewater Surveillance for Public Health


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Slides and Recordings

  • Day 1: Mon, June 14 (Recording)


    • Workshop Logistics; Overview and Goals of the 2021 SWWS Workshop, Dr. Nancy Lin, National Institute of Standards and Technology (Slides)


    • Opening Remarks, Dr. Michael Focazio, USGS
    • KEYNOTE – National Wastewater Surveillance System: Implementation for COVID and Beyond, Dr. Amy E. Kirby, CDC (Slides)
    • Australia's ColoSSoS Project: Inter-laboratory Study for SARS-CoV-2 in Wastewater, Dr. Kate R. Griffiths, National Measurement Institute of Australia (Slides)
    • Singapore's National Wastewater Based Surveillance Programme for COVID-19: Analytical Standards, Controls and Reference Materials, Dr. Judith Wong, National Environment Agency, Singapore
    • Wastewater Based Epidemiology: Monitoring of SARS-CoV-2 and Related Markers in Singapore, Dr. Shane Snyder, Nanyang Environment & Water Research Institute (NEWRI) at Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore
    • Wastewater Infrastructure & Operations for an Enduring Public Health Partnership, Dr. Beverley Stinson, AECOM (Slides)

    1:05 – 2:55 PM -- SWWS 201: SAMPLING

    • Opening Remarks, Ms. Renee Stevens, DHS
    • Utilities Perspectives and Needs, Mr. Claudio Ternieden, Water Environment Federation
    • USGS Experience in Wastewater Sampling:  3 Issues to Guide Wastewater Surveillance for Public Health, Mr. Patrick Phillips, US Geological Survey
    • CASE STUDY – Wastewater monitoring for COVID-19 in Louisville, Dr. Aruni Bhatnagar, University of Louisville (Slides)
    • RAPID FIRE – Wastewater sampling for WBE surveillance, Mr. Kaushal Trivedi, Teledyne ISCO (Slides)
    • RAPID FIRE – Building-level Wastewater Monitoring for COVID-19 Using Tampon Swabs and RT-LAMP for Rapid SARS-CoV-2 RNA Detection, Dr. Aaron Bivins, University of Notre Dame
    • PANEL DISCUSSION: Need for Standards to Support Wastewater Sampling
  • Day 2: Tue, June 15 (Recording)

    10:05 AM – 12:05 PM -- SWWS 202: TESTING METHODS

    • Opening Remarks, Ms. Sally Gutierrez, USEPA
    • Global Update on Wastewater Surveillance for SARS-CoV-2, Dr. Christobel M. Ferguson, The Water Research Foundation (Slides)
    • CASE STUDY – Overview of the Ohio Wastewater Monitoring Network, Dr. Nichole E. Brinkman, USEPA and Ms. Rebecca Fugitt, Ohio Department of Health (Slides)
    • Scalable, sensitive, representative, and comparable approach for high throughput SARS-CoV-2 RNA analysis in settled solids, Dr. Alexandria Boehm, Stanford University
    • RAPID FIRE – Reducing Erosion: Using a rapid deployable testing solution to reduce time between sampling and action, Dr. Jordan J. Schmidt, LuminUltra Technologies (Slides)
    • RAPID FIRE – The Importance of Validation for Wastewater Surveillance, Dr. Brian Swalla, IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. (Slides)
    • RAPID FIRE – SARS-CoV-2 Quantification in Wastewater by Droplet Digital PCR, Ms. Carolyn Reifsnyder, Bio-Rad Laboratories
    • RAPID FIRE – Nanoplate Digital PCR for Wastewater Surveillance, Dr. Michael Bussmann, QIAGEN (Slides)
    • RAPID FIRE – SARS-CoV-2 Variant Profiling in Wastewater by Sequencing, Dr. Ellen M. Beasley, Pangolin Health
    • RAPID FIRE – BioFire Defense Overview, Mr. Ryan Gregerson, BioFire Defense (Slides)
    • RAPID FIRE – Viral Concentration with Nanotrap Magnetic Virus Particles, Dr. Roberto J. Barbero, Ceres Nanosciences (Slides)
    • PANEL DISCUSSION: Need for Standards to Support Testing Methods


    • Opening Remarks, Mr. Paul Storella, AECOM
    • AVAILABLE DATA TOOLS: National Wastewater Surveillance System, Dr. Wiley Jennings, CDC (Slides)
    • CASE STUDY – SARS-CoV-2 Wastewater Surveillance and Public Health Applications in Houston, TX, Dr. Lauren Stadler, Rice University AND Dr. Loren Hopkins, City of Houston (Slides)
    • Translating Wastewater Data for Policymaking, Ms. Aparna Keshaviah, Mathematica (Slides)
    • Biobot: Building early warning health analytics from data available in our sewers, Dr. Mariana Matus, Biobot Analytics, Inc. (Slides)
    • RAPID FIRE – Global COVID-19 Wastewater Monitoring Efforts: Development of the COVIDPoops19 Dashboard, Ms. Ana Grace Alvarado, University of California Merced (Slides)
    • PANEL DISCUSSION: Need for Standards to Support Data Reporting and Analytics


    • Communicating Sewage Surveillance Data for a Public Health Response, Dr. Sandra McLellan, University of Wisconsin (Slides)
    • PANEL DISCUSSION: Standards to Support Implementation of WWS Data for Public Health
  • Day 3

    SWWS 301: Building an Enduring Capability

    Opening Remarks, Mr. Philip Mattson, DHS S&T  (Slides)  

    Examples from Related Fields

    • Surveillance Program: Making It Count - Keeping It Available: Wildlife Disease Situational Awareness, Dr. Kimberli Miller, US Geological Survey  (Recorded Talk | Slides)
    • Documentary Standards for Biological Response, Dr. Jayne Morrow, Montana State University (Slides)
    • Development and Performance of NIST SRM 2917 for Molecular Recreational Water Quality Testing, Dr. Orin Shanks, US EPA  (Slides)         
    • Draft Accreditation Checklist for Wastewater COVID PCR Testing, Ms. Patsy Root, IDEXX Water (Recorded Talk | Slides)

    Enduring Capability Perspectives

    • NWSS Perspective, Dr. Amy Kirby, CDC (Recorded Talk | Slides)
    • One Health Perspective, Dr. Tonya Nichols, US EPA  (Recorded TalkSlides)
    • Public Health Decision Maker Perspective, Mr. Jeffrey Wenzel, Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (Recorded Talk | Slides) 
    • Local Health Department Perspective, Dr. George Conway, Deschutes County Health Services Department  (Recorded Talk | Slides) 
    • State Perspective, Dr. Larry Madoff, Massachusetts Department of Public Health 

    Instructions for Focused Feedback Polls, Dr. Katrice Lippa, NIST   (Recorded Talk | Slides) 
    Polls have closed.  Poll results are available in the Workshop Report

    • SWWS 302: Poll on Methods and Data Comparability  
    • SWWS 303: Poll on Reference Materials  
    • SWWS 304: Poll on Documentary Standards-Guidance Documents  

Important Juneteenth Holiday Schedule Adjustments to Day 3 of the SWWS Workshop

Out of respect for the recently enacted Juneteenth Federal Holiday that will be observed this Friday, June 18, 2021, many individuals will not be able to attend the DHS/NIST Standards for Wastewater Surveillance Workshop tomorrow.  Therefore, we will be transitioning Day 3 of the workshop from a live, virtual meeting to an asynchronous version of the day’s originally planned activities.

The speakers and panelists will transition to recorded talks and comments to be made available on the workshop website. In lieu of the breakout sessions, online polls will be provided to collect your input on focused standards needs.  This modified format will still meet our Day 3 objectives and ensure your valuable feedback is heard and included in the workshop report.  

More information and guidance will be provided early next week.  


Wastewater surveillance is a promising approach to monitor biological and chemical contaminants on a community level, and has recently been shown effective for the early detection of SARS-CoV-2 outbreaks.  While much has been learned in the past year, much work remains to establish an enduring capability for wastewater surveillance poised to address new targets as they emerge.  The goal of this workshop is to identify and prioritize standards needs and technology/measurement gaps and propose a potential path forward to develop standards that help enable a robust, comparable wastewater surveillance capability.  Topics to be discussed include lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic response, the state of the art in measurement science and technology for the entire wastewater surveillance workflow, and challenges in achieving comparable wastewater surveillance results across locations. Stakeholder input will inform future standards development activities, including consensus-based documentary standards focused on best practices as well as reference materials, and ensure that any standards developed are fit for purpose and aligned with the needs of the community.  Ultimately, these standards will be designed to help provide a foundation for communities and organizations to have increased confidence in wastewater surveillance results to better inform public health and safety decisions across the nation. This free workshop is recommended for participants involved in all aspects of wastewater surveillance from sampling to results/reporting, including those from government, public health, testing and manufacturing, academia, and non-profit organizations.


Posters will remain online for 1 year following the workshop at the link provided to attendees.

Workshop attendees were encouraged to submit a poster to share their work.  Benefits of a poster:

  • A great opportunity to share your work and perhaps the best way to have one-on-one interactions in the context of a large virtual workshop
  • All registrants can view your poster anytime throughout the workshop
  • Ability to chat asynchronously with attendees about your work
  • Ability to set up a virtual session to meet with attendees to discuss your work (6/15, 3-4 PM as well as other times of your choice, including on the break days 6/16 and 6/17)
  • Poster style/format is flexible – it can simply be a slide with your abstract and a key figure, all the way to a full, typical poster
  • Even presenters, panelists, and organizers can submit posters in addition to their other roles

Poster Session: Virtual Poster Session was used to host  an interactive poster session on Tuesday, June 15, 2021 from 3 pm to 4 pm (ET) following the workshop sessions for that day. 

Organizing committee

  • Kent Prinn, Army Public Health Center
  • Mike Focazio, United States Geological Survey
  • Sally Gutierrez, EPA
  • Scott Jackson, NIST
  • Amy Kirby, CDC
  • Nancy Lin, NIST
  • Katrice Lippa, NIST
  • Mia Mattioli, CDC
  • Phil Mattson, DHS S&T
  • Yonas Nebiyeloul-Kifle, DHS S&T
  • Ted Smith, University of Louisville
  • Renee Stevens, DHS S&T
  • Paul Storella, AECOM
  • Sarah Wright, Association of Public Health Laboratories
    Created April 30, 2021, Updated March 13, 2023