The CLEAN-CM project has concluded after two years of work with the development of new contaminant detection technologies. Among the outstanding results are two new methods for tracing the genetic material of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater.
IMDEA Water researchers have worked in a multidisciplinary manner on this project, which aims to study methodologies to assess and eliminate biological (with SARS-CoV-2 as a model) and chemical risks in the water cycle.
Water quality is a growing concern, not only among professionals, but also among the general population. The Covid-19 pandemic has increased this interest; although the virus does not use water as a vehicle of transmission, the presence of SARS-CoV-2 genetic material has been of great help in the study of epidemiological evolution. During the project, researchers studied the presence of biological and chemical hazards in different water matrices (wastewater, reclaimed water and groundwater) and different technologies to eliminate them. In addition, working methodologies and monitoring protocols have been developed.
IMDEA Water has acquired equipment to measure biological contaminants found in low concentrations in the environment, and an intelligent greenhouse that allows different experiments such as bioassays to determine the potential transfer of biological contaminants of emerging concern (e.g. viruses, parasites, antibiotic-resistant bacteria) to the food chain.
This research has been carried out through the agreement signed with the Community of Madrid (Consejería de Educación, Universidades, Ciencia y Portavocía) to support research activities on SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 disease, financed by the REACT-EU resources of the European Regional Development Fund with a grant of more than one million euros.