The unprecedented global pandemic of SARS-CoV-2 virus causing the COVID-19 disease prompted the Water Environment Federation (WEF) to conduct a critical review of pathways of potential exposure to this virus associated with the collection and treatment of wastewater. In April 2020, WEF convened a panel of academics and practitioners expert in the science and practice of wastewater collection and treatment to conduct this critical review.
Protecting Wastewater Professionals From Covid-19 and Other Biological Hazards features a host of information critical for safeguarding water professionals from viruses, bacteria, and other biological safety hazards. The first chapter features updates to WEF’s Manual of Practice No. 1, Safety, Health, and Security in Wastewater Systems. These updates concern protecting health and safety workers from biological hazard exposures associated with wastewater, including viruses like SARS-CoV-2. Then, a review of worker health and safety best practice guidelines culminates in recommendations regarding exposure to biological hazards associated with wastewater. Examples of a Job Safety Analysis (JSA), a key component to these recommendations, are found in the publication’s appendix. Finally, a review of current, relevant peer-reviewed literature identifies and reports on gaps in the knowledge base specific to exposure to biological hazards associated with wastewater. Further research is needed to further inform best practices for the wastewater sector.