What We Flush Down the Toilet Can Tell Us a Great Deal

We call it “wastewater,” but we don’t want to waste it. Wastewater contains clues about the resurgence of diseases once thought to be eradicated, the evolution of new diseases, such as COVID-19, and even the prevalence of drug use. That’s why the Rollins School of Public Health (Marlene Wolfe, HERCULES-recruited junior investigator) and Stanford University have teamed up with industry, public leaders, and philanthropy to create WasterwaterSCAN—a national effort to spread monitoring of diseases through municipal wastewater systems to inform public health responses locally and nationally.