Sewage testing is being conducted across England in a bid to develop wastewater-based Covid-19 surveillance.
Scientists discovered early within the pandemic that infected people “shed” the virus in their feces.
Further research concluded that wastewater sampling could provide a sign of a coronavirus outbreak up to every week before medical testing.
A Defra spokesperson said the government was working with scientists, water companies, and therefore the devolved governments in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.
Dr. Andrew Singer from the United kingdom Centre for Ecology and Hydrology is among the lead scientists on a UK project to develop a standardized test to “count” the quantity of genetic material from the coronavirus in a wastewater sample.
He told reporters saying: “We would really like to possess confidence in saying that once we have a rise in virus numbers within the sewage from week to week, there are a higher number of coronavirus cases.