Better detecting viruses in water to protect your health 

“The virus monitoring in water is not mandatory in Europe. The current virus test - based on molecular biology - is expensive, time consuming and labor intensive, thus the test is limited to few laboratories in a few countries, even though the protection of water networks against pathogenic viruses is crucial. We hope that with the present CWA and later with a European Standard the monitoring of pathogen viruses in water will spread in Europe, protecting people from serious outbreaks”, Ms Noemi Rozlosnik, chairperson of CEN Workshop WS 82

Are we sure of the safety of our waters in Europe? Worldwide waterborne viral diseases represent a high public health risk. Currently, human enteric viruses are frequently found in in different types of environmental water samples. These viruses can cause polio, hepatitis,  gastroenteritis as well as other types of  innocuous infections.

Waters can be contaminated by infectious viral particles (human and animal urine and feces containing pathogenic microorganisms) through the release of sanitary wastewaters. People can then be contaminated through contact with these waters or be infected through their consumption.

Urban wastewater contains a large number of pathogen viruses that even the most advanced wastewater treatment cannot fully remove. When you know that as few as 10-100 virus particles can cause a serious illness in humans, it is time to tackle the problem.

Therefore, CEN has developed a standardized sensor system which is intended to provide a rapid, simple and economic method for monitoring dangerous levels of various types of viruses.

A new CEN Workshop Agreement for safer waters

The CEN Workshop WS 82 – 'Virus sensor system for monitoring rotavirus, norovirus and hepatitis A virus in various types of water intended for human use (AquaVir)’, of which the sercretariat was provided by our German National Member DIN, was created to develop:

  • CWA 17102:2017 - a CEN Workshop Agreement (CWA)  for a cost effective, on-site detection system for monitoring rotavirus, norovirus and hepatitis A virus in different types of water such as municipal water, surface water, bathing water, drinking water and ground water.
    CWA 17102:2017 was published on 11 January 2017 and is now available for purchase with CEN National Standardization Bodies.

It is the first milestone towards the development of a European Standard. The CEN CWA has a lifetime of 3 years, which can be extended to a total of 6 years.