Next-Gen Wastewater-Based Epidemiology | ColoSSoS and Beyond

March 23, 2021

At Ozwater 2021 Water Research Australia will host two 90-minute panel sessions to showcase the incredible work being conducted around the country and internationally on sewage surveillance for SARS-CoV-2.

The ColoSSoS Project – Collaboration on Sewage Surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 – is a major national collaborative effort, that has seen experts in health, microbiology, laboratory testing and wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) all come together to foster research and create positive impact throughout our communities.

More than a year after WaterRA commenced the ColoSSoS Project to support the nation’s pandemic response, our panel of experts will demonstrate its impact, the research behind it and what it means for the future of wastewater-based epidemiology.

“When it comes to global disease outbreaks and pandemics, the public health response is often targeted at communities on a clinical level, including testing, social measures and eventual vaccinations,” ColoSSos Project Director Kelly Hill said.

“The water industry’s response to COVID-19 has demonstrated that in the future, there is scope for wastewater-based epidemiology to lead alongside other measures in the public health response, to keep communities safe.

“The collaborative nature of ColoSSoS has broken down established boundaries across disciplines and industries, redefining the way the water sector works and creating a blueprint for an integrated future.”

During the session participants will have direct access to the experts that designed and implemented the ColoSSoS Project, and the water industry’s public health response to COVID-19. Participants will also see demonstrations of real-life applications of sewage surveillance during a pandemic and will have an opportunity to share their organisation’s future WBE plans to receive expert feedback in an interactive Q&A session.

Session 1 (Tuesday 4th May) will highlight the sewage sampling research, including passive sampling, genomic sequencing and interlaboratory trials with a panel of guest speakers, including:

  • Karen Rouse, CEO | Water Research Australia
  • Dr Nick Crosbie, Recycled Water & IWM Research Manager | Melbourne Water
  • Dr Dan Deere, ColoSSoS Project Manager | Water Futures
  • Dr Kate Griffiths, Senior Molecular Biologist | National Measurement Institute
  • Assoc Prof Aaron Jex | Walter and Eliza Hall Institute for Medical Research
  • Dr Kelly Hill, ColoSSoS Project Director | Water Research Australia

Session 2 (Wednesday 5th May) will highlight how the collaboration and research has been implemented and adopted by industry, as well as capability building both nationally and internationally, with discussion focussed on industry impact and future application of WBE with a panel of guest speakers, including:

  • Dr Kaye Power, Principal Strategic Public Health Advisor | Sydney Water
  • Dr Alex Keegan, Manager Catchments, Wastewater and Environmental Sciences | SA Water
  • Dr Monica Nolan, Epidemiologist Lead: Wastewater Surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 | Victorian Government Department of Health
  • Paul Smith, Head of International and Industry Programs | Australian Water Association
  • Dr Dan Deere, ColoSSoS Project Manager | Water Future
  • Dr Kelly Hill, ColoSSoS Project Director | Water Research Australia

The ColoSSoS sessions are available to delegates with full registrations to Ozwater 2021. Alternatively, a single workshop pass can be purchased online. To register for Ozwater and view the full terms and conditions set by the event host, Australian Water Association, please click here.


Find out more about ColoSSoS


View WaterRA's COVID-19 Community of Interest