Making Waves: Collaboration in the time of SARS-CoV-2 - rapid development of an international co-operation and wastewater surveillance database to support public health decision-making.

Lian Lundy, Despo Fatta-Kassinos, Jaroslav Slobodnik, Popi Karaolia, Lubos Cirka, Norbert Kreuzinger, Sara Castiglioni, Lubertus Bijlsma, Valeria Dulio, Geneviève Deviller, Foon Yin Lai, Nikiforos Alygizakis, Manuela Barneo, Jose Antonio Baz-Lomba, Frederic Béen, Marianna Cíchová, Kelly Conde-Pérez, Adrian Covaci, Erica Donner, Andrej FicekFrancis Hassard, Annelie Hedström, Félix Hernandez, Veronika Janská, Kristen Jellison, Jan Hofman, Kelly Hill, Pei-Ying Hong, Barbara Kasprzyk-Hordern, Stoimir Kolarević, Jan Krahulec, Dimitra Lambropoulou, Rosa de Llanos, Tomáš Mackuľak, Lorena Martinez-García, Francisco Martínez, Gertjan Medema, Adrienn Micsinai, Mette Myrmel, Mohammed Nasser, Harald Niederstätter, Leonor Nozal, Herbert Oberacher, Věra Očenášková, Leslie Ogorzaly, Dimitrios Papadopoulos, Beatriz Peinado, Tarja Pitkänen, Margarita Poza, Soraya Rumbo-Feal, Maria Blanca Sánchez, Anna J Székely, Andrea Soltysova, Nikolaos S Thomaidis, Juan Vallejo, Alexander van Nuijs, Vassie Ware, Maria Viklander

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


The presence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in wastewater was first reported in March 2020. Over the subsequent months, the potential for wastewater surveillance to contribute to COVID-19 mitigation programmes has been the focus of intense national and international research activities, gaining the attention of policy makers and the public. As a new application of an established methodology, focused collaboration between public health practitioners and wastewater researchers is essential to developing a common understanding on how, when and where the outputs of this non-invasive community-level approach can deliver actionable outcomes for public health authorities. Within this context, the NORMAN SCORE "SARS-CoV-2 in sewage" database provides a platform for rapid, open access data sharing, validated by the uploading of 276 data sets from nine countries to-date. Through offering direct access to underpinning meta-data sets (and describing its use in data interpretation), the NORMAN SCORE database is a resource for the development of recommendations on minimum data requirements for wastewater pathogen surveillance. It is also a tool to engage public health practitioners in discussions on use of the approach, providing an opportunity to build mutual understanding of the demand and supply for data and facilitate the translation of this promising research application into public health practice.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)117167
JournalWater research
StatePublished - May 20 2021

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2021-05-27
Acknowledgements: All authors wish to thank the WWTP operators for providing samples. LL, AH and MV would like to acknowledge the VINNOVA (Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems) DRIZZLE – Centre for Stormwater Management (Grant no. 2016-05176) and the technical expertise provided by the Stormwater&Sewers network, Nireas-International Water Research Center of the University of Cyprus would like to thank the Sewerage Board of Limassol-Amathus (SBLA), the Sewerage Board of Nicosia (SBN) and the Paralimni Sewerage Board (PSB) for the provision of influent samples, for the purpose of performing this work. MPD wishes to thank COVIDBENS Inv04020 financed by EDAR Bens S.A, A Coruña, FYL wishes to thank Z Cetecioglu Gurol (KTH) and P Haglund (Umeå University) and TM would like to acknowledge financial support from APVV-19-0250, PP-COVID-20-0019, ASS8 and VIR-SCAN. Authors from the Univ Jaume LB, FH, MB and RdL acknowledge the financial support from Dirección General del Agua, Generalitat Valenciana, to develop the project "Covid_Wastewater", as well as the help E. Santateresa and N. Zamorano from FACSA, for the invaluable support in performing this work. RdL. was funded through a Beatriz Galindo Fellowship of the Ministerio de Educación y Formación Profesional, Spanish Government (BEAGAL18/00042). TM wishes to thank the generous support of the Operational Program Integrated Infrastructure for the project "Strategic research in the field of SMART monitoring, treatment and preventive protection against coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) ", Project no. 313011ASS8 (co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund) and the project VIR-SCAN - Wastewater monitoring data as an early warning tool to alert COVID-19 in the population ( has received funding from the European Union's Horizon Program call H2020-INFRAEOSC- 05-2018-2019, grant Agreement number 831644). SK (IBISS) acknowledges the financial support from Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development of Republic of Serbia grant No 451-03-9/2021-14/ 200007.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Pollution
  • Ecological Modeling
  • Waste Management and Disposal


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