Award will fund a collaborative effort between AquaVitas, LLC, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Health and Human Services to identify best practices for wastewater SARS- CoV-2 assessment and subsequent data analytics across the U.S.
Phase 1 award will fund assessment of wastewater at up to 100 treatment plants (representing ~10% of the U.S. population).
Optional Phase 2 award will scale to fund assessment of wastewater at up to 340 treatment plants (representing ~30% of the U.S. population in at least 42 states).
November 27, 2020 1:20 PM Mountain Standard Time
SCOTTSDALE, Arizona — AquaVitas, LLC, a wastewater analytics company spun out from Arizona State University and focused on wastewater-based epidemiology for contaminants, narcotics and contagious elements, such as SARS-CoV-2, today announced an agreement with the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for a nationwide study of wastewater for SARS-CoV-2 viral elements.
Under the terms of the agreement, HHS will fund the procurement and testing for SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater samples from treatment plants of large and small communities across the U.S. Under Phase 1 of the contract, wastewater from up to 100 treatment plants that serve 10% of the US population will be tested. Phase 1 will last six weeks.
Under an optional Phase 2, additional treatment plants will be enrolled to cover at least 30% of the US population and continue testing for an additional nine weeks.
Testing will begin in the next few weeks.
Wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) is an economical way to monitor population health. Opioids, illicit narcotics, alcohol, tobacco, polio, influenza, SARS-CoV-2 and other health threats have all been tracked in wastewater systems to provide near real-time data on substance use and infections to inform public health leaders of the need for intervention.
“We are thankful to HHS and CDC for their support to the field of WBE in funding broad sampling and analysis in the U.S.“ said Dr. Adam Gushgari, AquaVitas’ Chief Executive Officer. “Time is of the essence to provide data on the spread of the virus in U.S. communities large and small in order to determine the need for and the effectiveness of strategies to combat spread of the virus and to protect and save lives. Knowledge of changes in the rate of community infections are critical to inform the selection and duration of policies implemented to protect both the health of human populations and the economy. This partnership marks an important step forward in utilizing the chemistry and biology present in our built environment to obtain vital population health data through a non-invasive technique that protects individual anonymity.”
HHS describes that “Wastewater testing is predictive of new COVID-19 cases 5 to 11 days in advance. Data and analysis provided by the contractor’s wastewater surveillance will illustrate a more complete picture of local, community level COVID-19 trends, where clinical cases had been dangerously underreported, leading to unchecked spread. This can be particularly helpful for communities lacking testing facilities or testing supplies, or for communities in which demand for testing remains low for other reasons.
And they further state that “Clinical testing lags 5-11 days behind wastewater surveillance, giving public officials a planning advantage and enabling an adequate operational response. The contractor will work with HHS to find the best path forward so that testing can have the greatest impact on the overall health of the American populace.”
About AquaVitas, LLC
AquaVitas provides analytical services for public, private, corporate and government entities to protect human health, maximize productivity and minimize risk and liability. The company and its founders have examined hundreds of chemical and biological agents in municipal wastewater, including narcotics, opiates, influenza, SARS-CoV-2, stress hormones, alcohol and nicotine.
Headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona, AquaVitas currently has strategic alliances with U.S. government, municipalities, corporate entities, prisons, schools and universities. The company’s platform builds on the analysis of chemical and biological compounds excreted into wastewater and identified by various sophisticated chemical and biochemical methods. The company spun out of Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona in 2019. To support the scale- up required by HHS, AquaVitas intends to hire new team members in the US to perform analytical and administrative roles.
For Corporate Interests: Adam Gushgari, Ph.D., P.E. CEO
Phone: +1 (623) 688-3579 | Adam@aquavitas.com
For Investors: Patricia Beckmann, Ph.D. COO/CBO
Phone: +1 (503) 706-1590 | Patricia@aquavitas.com