Frequently Asked Question 


What is OneWaterOneHealth?

OneWaterOneHealth (OWOH) is a nonprofit project of the Arizona State University Foundation, housed at the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University. We officially began our journey when we were awarded the JM Kaplan Fund’s Innovation Prize in 2019, emphasizing environmental justice.

We analyze wastewater as a diagnostic matrix to understand the health of populations, particularly in marginalized or underserved communities, as well as the environment that surrounds them. This methodology is termed Wastewater-based Epidemiology (WBE).

What is WBE?

Wastewater-based Epidemiology (WBE) is a means to understand, in near real-time, the health and behavior of populations, as well as their exposure to potentially harmful chemical or biological agents.

Offering a much more granular geospatial and temporal view of a population and the environment it interacts with than traditional methods, we can assess longitudinal (over longer periods of time) trends, thus providing rapid insight when danger is approaching.

While WBE has largely been implemented to understand use of licit and illicit substances across the globe, researchers, such as our team, are pushing beyond those boundaries to apply these successful and valid methods for understanding population health.

What are OWOH’s goal?

OWOH aims to bring justice to underserved communities and the environment which houses us by providing objective measurements in order to make data-informed decisions. Vulnerable populations are too often left behind to fall between the cracks of a broken system due to outdated or nonexistent data sources that fail to tell the true story.

We aim to shed light on these communities by offering an undeniable data source that is objective, non-invasive, culturally acceptable, and comprehensive.

Further, we aim to go above and beyond simply providing data by implementing educational programs within these communities in order to encourage autonomy and empowerment.

how is OWOH working to track the spread of COVID-19?

The novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is caused by a highly infectious coronavirus referred to as SARS-CoV-2. Transmission is currently thought to spread from person to person largely through respiratory droplets in the air.

When a person is infected, whether they are exhibiting symptoms or not, they excrete or “shed” the virus through human feces. This eventually ends up in the sewer system where our team is able to detect SARS-CoV-2 using validated analytical methods.

I have more questions.

For more detailed questions regarding sampling logistics in your area, or any other inquiry, please complete the Contact Us form and we will get back to you as soon as we can.