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Wastewater contamination serves as an early warning signal for potential virus outbreaks

Pace Analytical® is First Commercial Laboratory to Test for COVID-19 in Wastewater

Minneapolis, MN, June 23, 2020 – Pace Analytical Services, LLC, the largest American-owned laboratory network providing environmental and life sciences analytical testing and services, today announced the ability to analyze and monitor wastewater treatment systems for SARS-Co V-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Pace is the first commercial scientific lab offering this service.

“For decades we have worked with municipalities and public water systems to analyze for contaminants that may be harmful to communities and the environment,” said Eric Roman, CEO of Pace Analytical. “Our work is important to us; we want to do all we can to arm our leaders with accurate data for making critical decisions about managing COVID-19.”

COVID-19 is a single-stranded RNA virus and part of a group of viruses referred to as coronaviruses. Pace can monitor and analyze water samples collected from wastewater treatment facilities for coronavirus RNA, the genetic signature of coronaviruses. Ongoing monitoring of RNA in wastewater provides states and communities with valuable data to:

  • Measure the prevalence of COVID-19 within a community;
  • Track the spread of the virus;
  • Alert communities to a rise in RNA levels (infections) before clinical diagnoses occur.

Pace COVID-19 Wastewater Testing and Analysis Services identifies contamination in treated and untreated wastewater sources. Sources of untreated wastewater include households, industries, schools, and businesses. “In collecting and analyzing samples from these sources, Pace can provide the data to track the prevalence of infections and where there may be potential spikes in COVID-19 cases,” notes Mike Fuller, Chief Operating Officer, Pace Environmental Sciences. “This information could prove valuable in mitigating the spread of the virus and/or to ensure communities and healthcare facilities have the resources ready to respond.”

Pace Analytical COVID-19 Wastewater Testing and Analysis Services are available immediately. Pace can perform this testing on treated (effluent) and untreated (influent) wastewater. More information is available here.

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