Sewage monitoring shows how covid-19 is evolving in the population

Our trend analysis of SARS- CoV-2 in sewage links the underground data with the above-ground data (new COVID-19 notifications and hospital admissions reported by the RIVM) for the sewage treatment plants in Amsterdam, Utrecht and Rotterdam. In Amsterdam, mid-January sewage data show a slight increase in Rotterdam and Utrecht a slight decrease. For all three cities, the concentration is still almost as high as during the first wave.

Sewage gives a good picture of the circulation of the virus in the population, as everyone goes to the toilet. Therefore, the sewage results can be the reason for additional preventive measures or extra testing of a whole population group. By measuring at the district level, an increasingly accurate picture of the virus’s distribution is possible.


For the research in Rotterdam, KWR is working in a consortium of partners together with ErasmusMC, GGD, general practitioners’ practices, RIVM, Hollandse Delta, Hoogheemraadschap Delfland en Hoogheemraadschap Schieland en Krimpenerwaard, STOWA, Partners4UrbanWater and RoyalHaskoning/DHV. In Amsterdam and Utrecht, we work together with the Amstel, Gooi & Vecht Water Authority and the Hoogheemraadschap De Stichtse Rijnlanden, respectively.