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CDC Developing Ebola Guidance for Wastewater Sector

CDCThe Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is expected to release interim guidance regarding Ebola precautions for workers who may come in contact with untreated wastewater. The CDC's "Interim Guidance for Workers Handling Untreated Sewage from Ebola Cases in the United States" will address basic hygiene practices, personal protective equipment (PPE) use, and PPE disposal actions. During a conference call organized by the Water Environment Federation (WEF) in mid-October, a CDC spokesman said the federal agency is conducting an internal review of an interim guidance that could be released as soon as late October.

Specifically, the guidance will provide recommendations and protocols for:

  • Sewer maintenance workers
  • Construction workers who repair or replace live sewers
  • Plumbers
  • Workers who clean portable toilets

WEF recently announced that it is working with the CDC and several other water and public health organizations to find credible Ebola information regarding any potential risks for employees in the water sector. A WEF news release states, "Although there is limited data on the fate and transport of Ebola in wastewater collection systems, the development of protective precautions is essential. As such, the organizations have reached out to appropriate federal agencies to discuss wastewater worker safety and the inactivation of Ebola by wastewater treatment processes."

WEF is providing a free webcast from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. (CST) on Tuesday, November 4, about the Ebola virus and wastewater worker safety. The webcast will include a general overview on the survival of the Ebola virus in wastewater, sanitation and personal protective practices, and what is needed in terms of research. Click here to register for "Wastewater Worker Safety - Addressing Concerns on Ebola in Wastewater."

The CDC is the lead federal agency for Ebola containment and prevention. To access the CDC's information about Ebola, click here. If you have additional questions about how an outbreak could impact your wastewater facility, contact Scott Schaefer, AE2S Wastewater Practice Leader, at Scott.Schaefer@ae2s.com or 763-463-5036.


If you have any questions concerning the content of this newsletter,
please contact Heather Syverson at 701-364-9111 or Heather.Syverson@ae2s.com.
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