Yorkshire firm completes trials for Covid detection in sewage

DeepVerge, a York-based firm that tests wastewater for Covid-19, said it has successfully completed Phase 3 field trials of Microtox PD, which can detect and identify a range of infectious viruses and bacteria including Covid-19, E.coli, Legionella and Cryptosporidium.

DeepVerge said this a world first, real-time defence against the global pandemic
DeepVerge said this a world first, real-time defence against the global pandemic

DeepVerge said Microtox PD achieved real-time detection and transmission of data, specific to Covid-19, in wastewater treatment plants at multiple sites.

As a result, its environmental health division, Modern Water, has signed a master service agreement with EPS Group to install, calibrate, service and maintain Microtox PD units which, subject to negotiation with undisclosed parties, have the potential to be installed in multiple European countries.

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Gerard Brandon, chief executive of DeepVerge, said: “The successful completion of the Phase 3 field trials clearly demonstrates the capability and value of Microtox PD to identify dangerous pathogens, including SARS-CoV-2, in real-time.

"By establishing a permanent, anonymised mass surveillance of wastewater, DeepVerge claims a world first real-time defence against this global pandemic."

He said that the installation of Microtox PD wastewater units will enable live data to simultaneously identify the source of Covid-19 cases as well as identify Covid-19 clusters with the ability to indicate the size of each cluster.

"As the data grows, the central AI system has the potential to predict the trajectory of growth of future clusters of SARS-CoV-2 or any future dangerous pathogen," he added.

“Having achieved this major milestone, we are delighted to enter this agreement with EPS Group who complete the final step of installing, retrofitting and maintaining our Microtox PD equipment.

"With this level of established technical engineering support and distribution, DeepVerge can now offer an end-to-end solution for public and private clients across the European wastewater sector. We expect updates from our joint venture agreement with China Resources and roll-out in the US to follow early in Q3.”

Patrick Buckley, EPS group managing director, said: “We are very pleased to be part of this innovative partnership with DeepVerge to help combat the pandemic with their unique Microtox PD technology playing a crucial role in the early detection of Covid-19 hotspots around the world.

"With 550 personnel, our largest footprint in the water, wastewater pumping and treatment services sector across Europe, EPS Group engineers are ready to make this happen”.