/ Corporate / Stantec, with Northeastern University, supports City of Somerville in early COVID-19 detection

Stantec, with Northeastern University, supports City of Somerville in early COVID-19 detection

Parul Dubey on November 11, 2020 - in Corporate, COVID-19, News

Innovative wastewater testing program will help city officials identify potential outbreaks up to two weeks faster


Somerville, MA- TSX, NYSE: STNL: Leading global design firm Stantec has partnered with Northeastern University and the City of Somerville, located two miles north of Boston, on a neighborhood-level COVID-19 wastewater testing program focused on early detection and intervention. The program provides city officials with a more real-time understanding of COVID-19 infection trends at a time when concerns of a second wave of the virus are top of mind in communities across the globe.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the novel coronavirus can be shed in the feces of infected patients. By testing sewage samples from various locations around the city, officials will be able to identify potential outbreaks up to two weeks faster than traditional testing allows.

“Stantec is committed to advancing the quality of life in communities we serve, a mission that has become even more meaningful as we look for ways to best manage impacts of the virus through our built environment,” said David VanHoven, Senior Principal at Stantec. “We’re proud to be working with Northeastern on COVID-19 wastewater testing for the City of Somerville, helping the city more rapidly pinpoint outbreaks.”

As the city’s on-call engineering firm for sewer work and design, Stantec is overseeing the sampling effort, aiding in the selection of sampling locations, collection of weekly samples, and interpretation of lab results from Northeastern University leveraging Stantec’s in-depth knowledge of Somerville’s sewer system and combined sewer overflow network. For locations where sample collection from sewers will impact vehicular traffic, Stantec is also providing traffic management plans and equipment.

As part of the program, ten samples will be collected each week, with priority given to the neighborhoods around Tufts University, public schools, and areas with high concentrations of vulnerable residents or high density. Because the samples are collected from city sewer access points, the results are completely anonymous and will not identify any one household or building as a source of infection.

Stantec is a global leader in the water industry as ranked by Engineering News-Record. By viewing water as an integrated system, Stantec delivers solutions to conveyance, wet weather flow and urban stormwater, wastewater treatment, water treatment, and water resources projects that minimize cost and maximize the sustainability of the resource. Learn more at stantec.com/water.


About Stantec

Communities are fundamental. Whether around the corner or across the globe, they provide a foundation, a sense of place and of belonging. That’s why at Stantec, we always design with community in mind.


We’re designers, engineers, scientists, and project managers, innovating together at the intersection of community, creativity, and client relationships. Balancing these priorities results in projects that advance the quality of life in communities across the globe.


Stantec trades on the TSX and the NYSE under the symbol STN.


For more information about Stantec’s response to COVID-19, visit Responding to COVID-19.

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