Building Local Capacity to Track & Fight Against the Community Spread of SARS-CoV-2

Friday, November 6, 2020 at 11:00am


Who Should attend?

Anyone responsible for municipal water/wastewater services, and who is interested in learning about how communities can help manage the pandemic through early detection and monitoring of COVID-19 in wastewater, explore the challenges and opportunities of wastewater tracking across the province and learn how you can join the COVID-19 Consortium of Ontario (


No matter how many COVID-19 tests are done, current methods suffer from serious limitations. Asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic individuals prevent governments from getting accurate rates of COVID-19 infection, delaying public health responses. Cutting edge global and domestic research confirms that COVID-19 can be reliably detected in the feces of affected individuals including those with mild to no symptoms – an area where clinical tests fall short. A broad wastewater testing system may be able to continually test and accurately report on the spread of disease within communities to address a crucial need not only for the current pandemic, but for future outbreaks

McMaster University’s Faculty of Engineering is co-creating sampling and analytical protocols and providing a roadmap for best practices that could be adopted, with our partners, across the province. This will equip local facilities to detect COVID-19 earlier and more effectively.

Dr. Gail Krantzberg & Dr. Zobia Jawed kindly ask new and existing partners to complete the following wastewater research survey from COVID-19 Consortium of Ontario (CWCO) as linked below;


Webinar Host:

Kathy Vassilakos, Member of Stratford City Council; Vice President, OMWA

Webinar Presenters:

Dr. Gail Krantzberg, McMaster University. 
Dr. Krantzberg is Professor of Engineering and Public Policy in the Booth School of Engineering Practice and Technology at McMaster University offering Canada’s first Master’s Degree in Engineering and Public Policy. Gail completed her M.Sc. and Ph.D. at the University of Toronto in environmental science and freshwaters.  She worked for the Ontario Ministry of Environment from 1988 to 2001, as Coordinator of the Collingwood Harbour Remedial Action Plan, and Senior Policy Advisor on Great Lakes. She is past-president of the International Association of Great Lakes Research, Board Member of the Canadian Water Foundation,  member of the International Joint Commission’s Science Advisory Board, among others.  Dr. Krantzberg was the Director of the Great Lakes Regional Office of the International Joint Commission from 2001 to 2005. She has edited and co-authored 9 books and more than 200 scientific and policy articles on issues pertaining to ecosystem quality and sustainability and is a frequent speaker to media and the public.  When not on the job, she enjoys family, photography, gardening and peace in the woods.


Dr.Zobia Jawed (Ph.D., M.Eng.), McMaster University.
Dr. Zobia Jawed is a researcher (Co-Principal Investigator) and faculty lead for engineering design/policy projects at W. Booth School of Engineering Practice and Technology, McMaster University. Zobia completed her Bachelor’s degree at McMaster University, Master’s of Civil Engineering at University of Toronto, Ph.D. at McMaster University, and Post-Doctoral Fellowship jointly between University of Waterloo and McMaster University. Zobia is well-known expert in wastewater systems and technologies and has over a decade of expertise in water/wastewater systems/testing and operations. Zobia has traveled throughout Ontario’s waste/wastewater systems to provide expertise and training to operators and lab staff for optimization of systems and testing methods. Zobia is currently serving as a Board of Director, appointed by Hamilton City Council, at Conservation Halton. Before joining McMaster University, Zobia worked at the Region of Halton, Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Hospital for SickKids, Mohawk College, and University of Toronto. Zobia is an active community volunteer serving as School Council Chair, Board of Director at various community youth development initiatives while taking care of her own two kids.

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