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CDC Issues Interim Guidance on Untreated Sewage and Ebola

Our colleagues at the WaterISAC have just posted the following information about a new Interim Guidance from CDC to help wastewater utilities better understand risks to their staff who handle untreated sewage. Please read below for more information from the WaterISAC on this subject.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released its “Interim Guidance for Managers and Workers Handling Untreated Sewage from Individuals with Ebola in the United States.” The release of this interim guidance was prompted by concerns over the fate and transport of Ebola in wastewater collection systems. Given limited data about Ebola in such settings, water and public health organizations had reached out to Federal agencies to discuss wastewater worker safety and the inactivation of Ebola by wastewater treatment processes.

This interim guidance is intended for workers who handle untreated sewage that comes from hospitals, medical facilities, and other facilities with confirmed individuals with Ebola. It provides recommendations on the types of personal protective equipment (PPE) to be used and proper hygiene for the safe handling of untreated sewage that may contain Ebola virus. The CDC indicates the interim guidance can be used to reduce the workers’ risk of exposure to infectious agents including Ebola virus when working with untreated sewage.