This forum will convene industry, government, and research experts to explore the current and future application of wastewater surveillance to issues of public health. In a facilitated discussion, the panelists will examine specific case studies and projects to define a vision for the impact and future of this unique mode of water data.
1. How does wastewater surveillance help us understand the source & spread of disease?
2. What implications does this technology have for management of COVID-19 and future pandemics?
3. What kind of risks or protections exist around the possibility of revealing peoples’ individual health information using this technology?
National Wastewater Surveillance System Lead |Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Dr. Amy Kirby is an Environmental Microbiologist in the Waterborne Disease Prevention Branch and the Program Lead for the National Wastewater Surveillance System (NWSS) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). She has a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from the University of Georgia, a PhD in Microbiology from the University of Buffalo, SUNY, and a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology from Emory University. At CDC, Dr. Kirby is interested in leveraging environmental microbiology methods to measure pathogens, antibiotic resistance genes, and other health indicators in natural and man-made water systems.
Wastewater Surveillance Program Director | Water Environment Federation (WEF)
Anna Mehrotra, PhD, PE is a wastewater specialist with nearly 20 years of wastewater experience as an engineer, researcher, policy analyst, and teacher. She is a licensed PE with an MS in environmental engineering and science from Stanford University, a PhD in civil/environmental engineering from UC Berkeley, and substantial practical knowledge gained from implementing a wide variety of wastewater treatment design and wastewater surveillance projects. Anna is currently the Director for the Water Environment Federation’s Wastewater Surveillance Program. She oversees training, collaborations, pilot testing, and other activities focused on strengthening relationships between wastewater utilities and public health entities, advancing the practice of wastewater surveillance, and expanding participation in the CDC’s National Wastewater Surveillance System.
Environmental Scientist | Hampton Roads Sanitation District (HRSD)
Raul Gonzalez is an Environmental Scientist at Hampton Roads Sanitation District (HRSD). He runs HRSD’s molecular pathogen program which is comprised of a molecular lab and field scientists. His group applies molecular methods to manmade infrastructure and their adjacent waters. Current projects use nucleic acid-based markers for a variety of applications, including identifying compromised sewer infrastructure and quantifying pathogen removal of various treatment trains. He is a native of California, where he graduated from UCLA with a degree in biology. After graduation Raul worked at the Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts before returning to graduate school at UNC Chapel Hill, where he earned his Ph.D. in Environmental Science and Engineering. More recently he studied Bioinformatics at Johns Hopkins University.
Wastewater Surveillance Program Manager | Utah Department of Health and Human Services
Nathan manages the Wastewater Surveillance Program at the Utah Department of Health. He received a Master of Public Health in 2006 and a doctorate in epidemiology in 2011, both from the University of Michigan. He first joined the Utah Department of Health in 2013 working with the Environmental Epidemiology Program on environmental health issues and assessment in Utah. Since March of 2020, he has been working on COVID-19 surveillance and assisting the state’s pandemic response. Nathan has been involved with Utah’s wastewater surveillance efforts from their beginning in the spring of 2020, and strives to continually build and enhance the program.
The Water Data Forum is a series of interactive web sessions that engage cross-sector experts in an exploration of utility, industry, and research approaches to collecting, managing, and measuring water data for impact. Topics in this free, virtual forum will range from new sensor and control technologies to broader application spaces such as water data for environmental justice and climate resilience.