Scientists turn to LA wastewater to track coronavirus outbreaks

Hosted by

The Hyperion Sewage Treatment Plant (aka Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant) is Los Angeles' oldest and largest wastewater treatment facility, operating since 1894. Now scientists are turning to waste for signs of where COVID-19 is spiking. Photo by Doc Searls (CC BY 2.0).

Scientists are looking into whether sewage (at wastewater treatment plants) can be early indicators of new coronavirus outbreaks in LA. Can waste tell researchers where the virus is, and if it’s spiking? This project is carried out by USC, North Carolina State University, Rice University, and Howard University. It’s funded by the National Science Foundation.



  • Adam Smith - Environmental engineering professor at USC’s Viterbi School of Engineering