Potential secondary transmission of SARS-CoV-2 via wastewater

Sci Total Environ. 2020 Dec 20:749:142358. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.142358. Epub 2020 Sep 15.


The new coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, has spread internationally and whilst the current focus of those dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic is understandably restricting its direct transmission, the potential for secondary transmission via wastewater should not be underestimated. The virus has been identified in human fecal and wastewater samples from different countries and potential cases of transmission via wastewater have been reported. Our recommendations for hospital wastewater treatment, municipal wastewater plants, sewage sludge, water reuse and aquatic environments are designed to reduce the risk of such transmission, and contribute to limiting the resurgence of COVID-19 as current restrictions are relaxed. A particular urgent recommendation focusses on supporting low-income countries in tackling the potential for secondary transmission via wastewater.

Keywords: COVID-19; Low-income countries; SARS-CoV-2; Secondary transmission; Wastewater.

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19*
  • Coronavirus Infections*
  • Humans
  • Pandemics
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Wastewater


  • Waste Water