The core objective of the SARS Control project involves understanding the behaviour of the SARS-CoV-2 virus over the course of the treatment chain for urban wastewaters (liquid phase and solid phase) and evaluating to what extent wastewater treatment plants constitute effective barriers to the viability and spread of the virus as well as evaluating the direct and indirect impacts on public health and on the surrounding ecosystems of the flows generated by these plants.
Coordinated by AdP VALOR, this project takes on particular importance given that the water sector, in addition to ensuring mitigation of the anthropological impact on the natural water cycle, now emerges as a sector fully integrated into the philosophy of the circular economy with various flows interweaving with those of other sectors, such as agriculture and the natural ecosystems.
Also participating in the consortium responsible for developing this project is FCiências.ID, an association that integrates the Faculty of Science of the University of Lisbon, which takes on the eco-epidemiologic modelling activities for the data generated by the wastewater plants and the receptor environment, identifying new bio-markers to ascertain the presence of SARS-CoV-2 across the various wastewater matrices and, in conjunction with LAIST – the Analysis Laboratory of the Higher Technical Institute, of the University of Lisbon, analyses the correlation between the viral load and microbiologic indicators with LAIST also taking on the development of the molecular diagnostic and microbiologic analysis methods for detecting and quantifying the presence of the virus in wastewaters and receptor environments; the Centre of Biological Engineering of the University of Minho for detecting the micropollutants resulting from COVID-19 treatment in wastewaters; the companies Águas do Norte, SIMDOURO, Águas do Centro Litoral, Águas do Tejo Atlântico, SIMARSUL and Águas do Algarve as the management entities for the sanitation systems in the country’s main metropolitan areas.
The General Directorate of Health is a member of the Advisory Board alongside AdP Group companies EPAL and Águas do Douro e Paiva, APA – the Portuguese Environment Agency and ERSAR – the Regulatory Entity for Water and Wastewater Services.
Global budget: 459 627.94 EUR
Starting date: December 2020
Project duration: 11 months