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Viruses mutate.

Methods advance.

Inter-labs evolve.

Respiratory Viruses in Wastewater
Inter-laboratory Methods Comparison

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In 2020, Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) established the Wastewater Surveillance Initiative to detect COVID‑19 in wastewater samples across Ontario.

Ontario Clean Water Agency (OCWA) is providing technical expertise to support these pandemic response efforts by coordinating an inter-laboratory study program amongst the provincial network of academic and research institution partners. This program, in combination with the technical guidance developed, helps ensure that participating labs are generating high-quality and accurate wastewater surveillance data. The current inter-lab has been expanded to serve Canada nationally with the support of Public Health Agency of Canada - National Microbiological Laboratory (PHAC-NML) and is geared towards RT-qPCR- and dPCR-based methods that are most commonly used in wastewater surveillance applications globally.

Over 40 academic, public health/environmental and commercial sector laboratories in Canada and the United States have participated in this program to date. This program will be transitioned over the next few rounds into a first-of-its-kind accredited Proficiency Testing program (ISO 17043:2010) to continue serving laboratories undertaking wastewater surveillance activities.

Sign-up to this website is required to access further information including inter-lab requirements, as well as access to participant materials and reports. 

Please contact us at to find out more!

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Register now - limited spots available. No log-in required!


2085 Hurontario Street, Suite 500, Mississauga, Ontario L5K 1T9

Telephone: 905-491-4000 | 1-800-667-6292


Attention: Wastewater Surveillance Inter-lab Program

Kitchener Wastewater Treatment Plant

368 Mill Park Drive, Kitchener, Ontario, N2P 1A7


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