Sewage Analysis CORe group Europe


WG3. Integration with epidemiology and social sciences

WG3 will integrate sewage data with other available metrics. There is huge potential for sewage to provide the answers to many as yet unanswered questions and a key objective of this WG will be to bring the necessary scientists together. This highly transdiciplinary and ambitious WG will for the first-time bring together experts in the analysis of human biomarkers in sewage with medical doctors, epidemiologist, statisticians, toxicologists, health workers and social scientists with the sole goal of exploiting the potential of sewage based measurements on a wider-scale. The first task of WG3 will evaluate and identify the most appropriate statistical data available from sewage-based measurements under the different epidemiological scenarios. This is a key step in fully utilizing the potential of the approach. Focus will be placed on the required data resolution and the frequency of sampling for determining weekly trends, annual estimates and for monitor the effectiveness of interventions. Statistics associated with the spatial distribution of target populations will also be investigated to ensure accurate national and international data. WG3 will also evaluate the utility of the illicit drug data from sewage measurements that have been gathered over the past eight years alongside conventional drug prevalence data sources. WG3 will pose major challenges because the available epidemiological data will vary between the different studies and study populations. A key task will be to identify which population is missing from the each of the data sets, and what drug patterns this population may represent in the total population. Important steps will also be taken to use multiple data sources for comparison, correctly report and interpret data and adequately describe scale and/or direction of biases.

Malcom Reid and Matthew Hickman