Spanish Government to publish wastewater and bathing area control points to alert of potential new outbreaks of COVID-19

The Government is continuing work on the state wastewater control network, which will act as an early warning epidemiological indicator of the propagation of COVID-19. The state network will complement the networks already put into operation by Autonomous Communities and local entities. The final stage of this work is the publication of the control points in both wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) and bathing areas, which will be completed once agreement has been reached with the Autonomous Communities.

Periodic samples will be taken from a total of 30 WWTPs and 10 bathing areas to analyse the concentration of the remains of the virus in the water, in order to alert of potential fresh outbreaks.

In this way, the activities envisaged in the state plan for early warning COVID-19 wastewater surveillance (VATar-COVID-19) will be put into operation. This plan was developed by the Ministry for Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge (MITECO) and the Ministry of Health, with the support of the Spanish National Research Council, which belongs to the Ministry of Science and Innovation, the Spanish Centre for Studies and Experimentation on Public Works (CEDEX) and the Autonomous Communities.

Because similar studies are been carried out at European and regional level, the plan envisages the creation of a data exchange platform to integrate all the results obtained and make them available to health authorities.