Our next presentation is will cover some different perspectives on the monitoring of COVID in waster water systems. We are pleased to have a balanced perspective here with:

  • Prof. Gertjan Medema, Principal Microbiologist, KWR Water Research Institute
  • Dr Kaye Power, Principal Public Health Advisor for Sydney Water

to give a combined European and Australian perspective.

6pm 8th December 2020 (Sydney time)
Free for EA members
Pre-register at: https://www.engineersaustralia.org.au/event/2020/11/monitoring-covid-wastewater-34651

Talk Synopsis

Gertjan Medema

Gertjan will provide an overview of the tools and techniques being deployed through Europe as well as a short introduction on how this can feed back into public policy.

Kaye Power

Sydney Water is Australia’s largest water utility and provides sewage services to over 5 million people through 25 000 km wastewater pipes. This places Sydney Water in a unique position to support the implementation of a sewage surveillance program. This presentation will look at Sydney Water’s role in testing sewage for molecular markers of COVID-19 and in implementing a sampling program, across our sewerage network to support public health decision.

Speaker Biographies

Gertjan Medema

Gertjan Medema is Principal Microbiologist at KWR. He is also part-time professor of Water & Health at Delft University of Technology, and Distinguished Hannah Visiting Professor at Michigan State University. His research focusses on understanding the transmission of infectious diseases and antimicrobial resistance via water systems, and how this can be prevented through technical and non-technical management measures. His research forms the scientific basis for the design of safe water systems. This encompasses: (1) development of methods for detection/typing/source tracking of pathogens (viruses, bacteria, parasites) and antimicrobial resistance in water and soil; (2) observational, experimental and modelling research into the occurrence, fate and transport of pathogens and antimicrobial resistance in water systems (wastewater, surface water, groundwater, drinking water, urban water systems, water reuse systems, aerosols); (3) typing and understanding of the removal of microorganisms by water treatment processes; (4) integrating this knowledge in global/national hydrological and treatment models, and into quantitative risk assessment/health impact assessment; (5) conducting epidemiological research on the health effects of water systems; (6) providing advice on the design of safe water systems and safe water policies and guidelines.

Kaye Power

Dr Kaye Power is the Principal Public Health Advisor for Sydney Water and has been working with NSW Health to develop the testing and monitoring capabilities as part of NSW Health’s COVID19 Sewage Surveillance Program. Kaye has a PhD in Environmental Microbiology and is a nationally recognised regulatory expert in the application of risk management for the production and delivery of safe water (drinking and recycled).  Through her previous roles at NSW Health and the NSW Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) she has been engaged in the application and development of regulation and policy for the protection of public health in the urban water arena for over 20 years