Schools and Neighborhoods

Wastewater monitoring is a passive and efficient way to monitor the spread of infectious diseases in large populations and high transmission areas such as preK-12 schools. 

Infections caused by respiratory viruses in school-aged children are likely underreported, particularly because many children may be asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic. Wastewater monitoring of SARS-CoV-2 has been studied extensively and primarily by sampling at centralized wastewater treatment plants, and there are limited studies on SARS-CoV-2 in preK-12 school wastewater.

Similarly, wastewater detections of influenza have only been reported in wastewater treatment plants and university manhole samples. New research published online on January 20, 2023, in Water Research presents the results of a 17-month wastewater monitoring program for SARS-CoV-2 (n = 2176 samples) and influenza A and B (n = 1217 samples) in 51 preK-12 schools. 

Video presented to Houston Area School Districts
February 11, 2022

Houston's Health Authority Dr. David Persse explains the benefits of the school district participating in the COVID-19 wastewater program.


To learn more:  visit the Houston Health Department COVID-19 Services and Resources webpage.