pix Skip to main content

If you’re a local community leader, campus administrator or business owner, the myriad concerns brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic likely have been your central focus since 2020.

You probably never dreamed public health and infectious disease management would dominate your job duties.

Fortunately, wastewater testing offers solutions to help safeguard the health of your community — now and for the future.

Our two new white papers, Wastewater-Based Epidemiology – K-12 and Municipality Pilot Study and Sentinel Surveillance Strategies for Congregate Settings – University Campus, cover the benefits of wastewater sentinel surveillance testing and outlines critical steps for getting started.

Early Warning System for Infectious DiseasesWastewater-Based Epidemiology white paper

Wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) serves as an early warning system to detect pathogens in wastewater before individuals show symptoms.

While WBE is not a diagnostic tool, it is ideal for detecting infectious viruses and bacteria.

During the COVID-19 global pandemic, WBE proved to be so helpful in tracking SARS-CoV-2 that the Center for Disease Control (CDC) established the National Wastewater Surveillance System (NWSS) to aggregate wastewater data nationally.

NWSS represents a positive step forward for national public health. And even more can be done locally.

Power of Sentinel Surveillance

Sentinel surveillance testing is a WBE method that focuses on strategically selected locations within a targeted community, like a university campus, to provide targeted information on disease prevalence.

This approach helps identify areas with higher transmission rates and allows for rapid response and tailored interventions.

Implementing wastewater sentinel surveillance testing can help prevent widespread outbreaks, protect vulnerable populations and reduce strain on healthcare systems.

Detecting pathogens and disease prevalence early will help allocate resources and implement interventions more effectively.

Wastewater sentinel surveillance testing is a game changer for schools, communities and businesses. By establishing a locally focused testing system, educational institutions and others can complement the aggregated national data collected by the NWSS and take proactive measures to protect public health.

Sentinel Surveillance in Actionwastewater testing at a unviersity

With a local wastewater surveillance system in place, you get timely access to information on pathogen detection and disease prevalence that will enable you, along with local public health officials and community leaders, to take rapid action.

For example, the Shield T3 sample collection and advanced data analytics system can detect respiratory viruses like influenza, RSV, and SARS-CoV-2 in less than 24 hours.

Fast access to data empowers you to make decisions that ultimately improve community health and well-being. This can be especially valuable in underserved communities or those with low-resource waste systems.

Moreover, the data collected can contribute to the larger national surveillance system, enhancing the overall understanding of disease trends and informing national public health strategies.

Synopses of Wastewater White Papers

Here’s more information about our white papers published this year with links to each publication.

Here’s more information about our white papers published this year.

    • Wastewater-Based Epidemiology – K-12 and Municipality Pilot Study showcases the results of a study on wastewater testing conducted by ShieldT3 and CIC Health in collaboration with the Revere Department of Public Health and Revere Public Schools in Suffolk County, MA, in 2022.
      • The pilot study demonstrated school and municipal settings could provide sufficient wastewater data for an effective surveillance program, enabling communities to identify and track pathogens before they pose a widespread risk.
      • The paper highlights the critical importance of localized wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) surveillance, particularly within vulnerable populations. It also emphasizes the need for collaboration among health and safety officials, utilities, labs, and researchers to establish a sustainable wastewater surveillance program that provides early warning systems, broad population coverage, and valuable public health trends to inform targeted interventions.
    • Sentinel Surveillance Strategies for Congregate Settings – University Campus outlines a comprehensive playbook for implementing wastewater sentinel surveillance testing on university campuses.
      • Developed by ShieldT3 in partnership with the University of Arizona, the “playbook” guides campuses through the process of integrating wastewater surveillance with proven risk-mitigation strategies to enhance public health and safety.
      • The whitepaper details the necessary steps, from assembling a dedicated team and selecting appropriate sentinel sites, to establishing relevant partnerships, developing a testing protocol, monitoring, analyzing, and interpreting data, as well as communicating, evaluating and adapting as needed.
      • The goal is to provide campuses with a data-driven approach to inform proactive decisions and timely interventions in case of disease outbreaks.
      • The playbook emphasizes the flexibility and adaptability of wastewater testing, allowing campuses to adjust their surveillance according to emerging health threats or seasonal concerns, ultimately fostering a healthier and safer campus environment.

Shield T3's wastewater testing solutions help universities and other congregate settings, as well as communities and municipalities.

Shield T3’s wastewater testing solutions work for schools and other congregate settings, such as municipalities.

Your Wastewater Surveillance Partner

Setting up a wastewater surveillance system involves assembling a dedicated team, selecting appropriate sentinel sites, establishing relevant partnerships, developing a testing protocol, monitoring, analyzing and interpreting data, communicating, evaluating and adapting.

It’s a multiple-step process that can be complex. That’s why ShieldT3 offers support so these steps become easily achievable and can be customized to your community’s specific needs.

We equip communities, campuses and businesses for wastewater surveillance testing by offering sample collection and advanced data analytics, along with customized systems for all population sizes.

Request a Free Needs Assessment

We’re here to help you mitigate the spread of infectious diseases with our wastewater testing solutions.

To get started, request a free needs assessment or explore our white papers, covering the key aspects of applied wastewater surveillance and guidance on implementing a successful, local wastewater surveillance testing program.

Shield T3’s research material offers valuable insights for implementing sentinel surveillance testing. By understanding the benefits of wastewater sentinel surveillance testing and learning from real-world examples, you’re better equipped to make informed decisions that can enhance the health and safety of your community.

If you’re looking to make public health and infectious disease control both practical and proactive, you’ll find a sample university campus health and wellness “playbook” in the Sentinel Surveillance Strategies white paper to inform the plan you set up.

About ShieldT3

Shield T3 wastewater testing solutionsShield T3 owns and operates a laboratory network that provides viral extraction and amplification analysis. We use state-of-the-art protocols and quality control processes at the laboratories that can detect SARS-CoV-2 RNA concentrations in agreement with CDC wastewater testing guidelines.

Our systems are designed for a variety of congregate settings — from university dormitories to school campuses to individual businesses and communities to entire cities.

How Can Shield T3 Help You?

If you have questions or want to set up a call with us to discuss your school’s or community’s needs, email us or complete our contact form. We look forward to talking with you.