Des Moines wastewater sampling helps track coronavirus

Des Moines, IA (AP) — The Des Moines Metropolitan Wastewater Reclamation Authority has begun sampling sewage as part of a national program to track the spread of the coronavirus and its variants.

The Des Moines Register reports that the agency announced its participation Monday. Agency workers began collecting samples last week and shipping them to a national lab in Maine.

The effort is being funded by the federal government and is expected to continue for eight or nine weeks.

Larry Hare, manager of the southeast Des Moines sewage treatment plant, says sewage sampling can inform officials if a dangerous virus or germ is circulating in a community.