Members of the public have asked if the District is testing to detect the presence of COVID-19 in wastewater at our treatment facility. The answer is no, not currently. There are several reasons. As a regional treatment facility, GSD receives wastewater from the entire Goleta Valley. While testing would likely show that some amount of
COVID-19 is present in the wastewater, the results would not specify where the virus is located or how many people are infected. Testing done in homes, hospitals, and at testing sites already confirms COVID-19 is present locally. Second, there is currently no standardized method of testing. While more data could be produced, it would be hard to draw specific correlations to the data collected. Third, the testing is expensive. It is likely that COVID-19 will be in our community for some time as the pandemic becomes an endemic. The EPA, the National Institutes of Health, the CDC and others are working on a national framework for wastewater testing for COVID 19. Once a standard testing method is approved, and the results are actionable, the District will pursue grant funding for these types of tests. In the meantime, please be aware that COVID-19 is still present and observe safety protocols such as: staying home when sick, washing your hands, and if you prefer wearing a mask, do so.