One of the ways to monitor the spread of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 is to measure the levels of virus particles in sewage. View the most recent measurement per sewage treatment plant here.
Find out more about COVID-19 in sewage research
Monkeypox is a viral infection that originally occurred primarily in West Africa and Central Africa. The disease has also been spreading in other parts of the world since the spring of 2022. Research carried out by the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) reveals that the DNA of the virus can also be found in sewage.
Polio is a contagious disease that no longer occurs in the Netherlands. There is an initiative worldwide to eradicate polio. Sewage research is a good way to detect the poliovirus early.
Bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics are increasingly common. Sewage research is a good way to detect these dangerous bacteria.
Sewage research can provide a clear picture of medicine use among the general population and give insight into the illegal market for medicines. Sewage research can also indicate the extent to which medicine residues are ending up in the environment.
From November 2023 until November 2024, RIVM and the Trimbos Institute will be monitoring traces of drugs in sewage. This is a national trial that will involve measurements to detect five types of drugs: cocaine, crystal meth, ecstasy, speed and (new) designer drugs.
Sewage research offers great potential for detecting diseases and specific substances. Working with the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS) and the regional water boards, RIVM is currently exploring whether sewage research will be expanded in the future.