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Samples are taken four times a week from two different sewage lift stations in Minot and sent to the State as part of a study analyzing wastewater for coronavirus.
The City of Minot has joined a coronavirus-related wastewater study being conducted by the North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality.
The study is analyzing wastewater from more than 60 percent of the state’s population, according to Jim Uhlman, an environmental engineer with the department. Other major cities include Bismarck, Mandan, Fargo, Grand Forks, and Williston; 21 cities have chosen to participate in the study.
The research is funded through the federal CARES Act coronavirus aid. Wastewater is analyzed to look for the virus’ genetic material. Wasterwater testing could supplement the public health response to the virus, and help inform decision-makers, according to information from the state.
Mark Vollmer, superintendent of the City of Minot’s water and sewer department, said Minot staff members are collecting samples from two of the City’s lift stations.
“They’ve asked us to collect 250 milliliters from each site four days a week,” Vollmer said. “The sampler takes a small volume of sewage throughout the day. That way you get a better overview of the sewage because it’s a good mix from the entire day.”
Vollmer said they are taking samples from the City’s master lift station and the 55th Street lift station. They plan to begin taking samples from Puppy Dog lift station as soon as a sampler is installed at that location.
“Those three stations represent about 98 percent of the sewage that flows through Minot, so we’ll get a pretty good look at essentially all Minot’s sewage,” he said.
The samples are collected, bottled, and sent to Bismarck by courier, Vollmer added. Samples are being collected Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.