Quantification of SARS-CoV-2 in Wastewater Influent by a Modified Electronegative Membrane Adsorption Technique for use with RT-ddPCR, and the Effects of Influent Source on RNA Recovery

SARS CoV-2 Wastewater Testing - State of the Science
Poster Presentation

Prepared by M. Lash
EBMUD, 2020 Wake Avenue, Oakland, CA, 94607, United States

Contact Information: melissa.lash@ebmud.com; 510-287-1580


The physical and chemical characteristics of raw influent are variable between geographic locations, depending on the number of residents served, the types of industries also using the sewershed, environmental conditions, local water consumption trends, and storm water infiltration among other factors. As a result, a wastewater concentration and RNA extraction method for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 in raw influent may perform well in one geographic location and poorly in another. This presentation describes the adaptation of an electronegative membrane adsorption RNA concentration method by a large wastewater treatment plant in Oakland, California serving approximately 714,000 people. Method modifications include reduced sample volume, centrifugation to concentrate solids prior to filtration, and RNA extraction kit used. Differences in recovery of RNA from samples at 4 locations within the wastewater treatment plant’s sewershed are also discussed, including periodic introduction of inhibitors downstream of a trucked resource recovery waste tipping station.