Traditional and molecular indicators to characterise sewage in wastewater-based epidemiology

IWA Wastewater-based epidemiology, microbial source tracking, microorganisms, faecal indicators

Target Audience

Microbiologists, Researchers from Universities and Institutes, Epidemiologists, Risk Evaluators, Modelers, Officers from Public Health Sectors


The webinar will give an overview on available microbial source tracking (MST) technologies and faecal indicators to support wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE). The webinar will focus on data interpretation, improving data comparability and quality control from sewage surveillance activities. Presentation/discussion of MST markers and indicators (bacterial, viral, others) which enable:

  • the specific tracking of human sewage pollution,
  • the characterisation of unknown sewage effluents,
  • the normalisation of SARS-CoV-2 qPCR data, and
  • the determination of microbial/viral treatment efficacies of WWTP.

Molecular (e.g. PCR based) and cultivation-based diagnostic methods will also be discussed.

This webinar will attract a global audience with interest in learning about how to investigate human specific faecal pollution in water environments to support wastewater based surveillance (WBE) and environmental water monitoring. Participants should have some knowledge of microbiology, public health and related disciplines, and an understanding of how to get epidemiology-related data from wastewater and environmental water monitoring.

Learning Objectives

Following this webinar, participants will know:

  • useful MST markers (including bacterial and viral) to specifically track human faecal pollution and to differentiate from animal pollution,
  • how to apply MST markers and indicators to sewage effluents and,
  • how to use MST marker for normalisation of SARS-CoV-2 qPCR data


International Water Association