Wastewater-based epidemiology is an internationally recognised cost-effective tool to monitor population exposure to chemicals and infectious diseases including Covid-19. However, in-sewer degradation of critical biomarkers can limit their wastewater-based epidemiology suitability. This project aims to systematically evaluate the stability of a new suite of potential biomarkers and conduct the first Australia-wide assessment on the impact of biomarker stability on wastewater-based epidemiology estimates using wastewater samples from ~65% of the Australian population. The project expects to generate knowledge to expand the application of wastewater-based epidemiology to reliably quantify exposure and status of well-being even in remote areas.
The objectives of the project are:
1.    Systematically assess and quantify the transformation and transport of a wide range of newly identified biomarkers in sewer systems. 
2.    Quantify the impact of biomarker stability on the uncertainty of wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) estimates. 


Project members

Dr Keshab Sharma

Senior Research Fellow
Australian Centre for Water and Environmental Biotechnology


  • Dr. Phong Thai, Queensland Alliance for Environmental Health Sciences
  • Dr. Jake O’Brian, Queensland Alliance for Environmental Health Sciences
  • Prof. Adrian Covaci, University of Antewerp, Belgium