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COVID-19: Wisconsin Coronavirus Wastewater Monitoring

                                        

 

                                                 

 

City of Marinette                     Steve Genisot, Mayor

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 11, 2021

 

The City of Marinette Monitors Wastewater for Elevated Levels of COVID-19

In an effort to help slow the spread of COVID-19, the City of Marinette Wastewater is collecting raw sewage data for testing, providing early warning of disease increase in the community.

 

Since September 2020 the Marinette Wastewater has been collecting data and collaborating with DHS, the Wisconsin State Lab of Hygiene, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) through a network across Wisconsin. This network was created to study samples of wastewater, looking for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. SARS-CoV-2 is found in the feces of infected people. The trends are starting to show after almost six months of data.

The increase of COVID-19 cases in communities is typically tracked by testing people with symptoms, an indicator that lags behind the actual spread of the disease. However, research has shown that the SARS-CoV-2 virus can be detected in wastewater before those infections are identified as cases or hospitalizations. This presence of SARS-CoV-2 is an early indicator that there are COVID-19 cases in the community. 

The testing allows for more informed local decisions on responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic. The emerging information is being used by the Marinette County Public Health Department along with our community case numbers and other COVID-19-related data. Despite the additional testing, it is still recommended that residents be on alert and remain vigilant in their efforts to social distance, wear face coverings and frequently wash their hands.

To find the overall testing information, go to www.marinette.wi.us  Departments/Wastewater, click the link: COVID-19 Wastewater Testing or go to the DHS COVID-19 Wastewater Monitoring Dashboard:COVID-19: Wisconsin Coronavirus Wastewater Monitoring Network | Wisconsin Department of Health Services to see the data from the City of Marinette and other cities around the State of Wisconsin. When looking at the amount of virus detected in wastewater, only consider trends of concentrations over time, not individual measurements. 

 

 

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Cold weather and wind chills are here. This means we can expect frozen water pipes and water damage if exposed areas aren't properly insulated or we aren't careful about winter heating. Here are some problem areas, warning signals and tips to minimize the chance of freezing water pipes.

Problem Areas

  • Inadequate Heating in Uninsulated or Uncovered Outside Pit
  • Pipes Near Broken or Open Basement Windows
  • Pipes Near Exterior Wall in Unheated Room
  • Pipes Near the Foundation or Cracks in the Basement Wall
  • Pipes Under Kitchen Sinks or Cupboards
  • Unheated Crawl Spaces and Equipment Rooms

Warning Signs of Freeze

  • Discolored Water at a Fixture
  • Extremely Cold Piping at a Fixture
  • Low Water Pressure at a Fixture
  • Sputtering Sound When Opening a Fixture
  • Unusually Cold Water Temperature (Less Than 35° F) at Any Fixture
  • Unusually Low Water Flow at a Fixture

Thawing Frozen Pipes

  • It's safest to use hot air from a hair dryer or exhaust from a vacuum cleaner
  • Use heat tape, but with caution and following the manufacturer's instructions explicitly, and unplug when finished

Prevention

  • Check Water Temperature and Run a Little Water if Unusually Cold
  • Insulate Walls Near Exposed Piping
  • Repair Cold Air Leaks to Reduce Drafts on Piping and Meter
  • Run Small Amounts of Water From Highest Faucet Until Full Flow Returns
  • Shut Off and Drain Outside Water Faucets Before Freezing Occurs

Caution

  • Be careful if a pipe is cracked, it will spray water into electrical appliances when thawed.
  • Check and clear drains to prevent basement flooding in case of pipe burst.
  • Know where the main shut-off valve is located so you can turn it off quickly in case a pipe bursts.
  • To prevent fires, never thaw with an open flame or torch.

Frozen

What should I do if I think that my water service lateral is frozen? Please contact us at 715-732-5180.