Date of Award

Spring 2023

Document Type

Honors Thesis


Basic Biomedical Science

First Advisor

Victor Huber, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Lisa McFadden, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Beate Wone, MS


Wastewater, filtering, wastewater sampling, filtering methods, filtering protocols, future of wastewater

Subject Categories

Medicine and Health Sciences


Since the Covid-19 pandemic, wastewater surveillance has gained popularity and has proved itself to be an useful public health tool. In this paper, I looked at four different methods to filter wastewater: Membrane filtering, Polyethylene Glycol, Skim Milk Flocculation, and Magnetic Bead filtering. Membrane filtering’s main goal is to take a large sample and reduce it to a small sample for molecular analysis. Polyethylene Glycol helps the Covid-19 RNA bind to it. With the use of centrifuge the RNA is spun down to a pellet used for molecular analysis. Skim Milk Flocculation uses skimmed milk as the flocculation polymer and gets Covid-19 RNA to bind to it. Then it also gets spun into a pellet for molecular analysis. Magnetic bead filtering creates a magnetic field within the sample and gets the Covid-19 RNA to bind to the beads. Later the RNA is released from the beads for molecular analysis. Each of these methods has disadvantages and advantages to them, however membrane filtering leaves an unbiased sample and can be used for downstream testing. The technology is also advancing with rapid sensors that would cut out time involved in this process.



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