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Why we regulate
Learn what types of wastewater discharges are regulated and how.
Plan review
The DNR reviews plans for municipal and industrial wastewater treatment plant construction.
Discharge permits
Wastewater discharges to surface or groundwaters.
Contact information
For more information, contact:
Julia Riley
Wastewater specialist

Wastewater treatment operation Safety and Ebola hemorrhagic fever resources

Recently we have received questions about health risks to wastewater treatment plant/sanitary sewer workers from sewage containing the Ebola virus. There is very little research on the fate and transport of the Ebola virus in wastewater collection systems and the associated human health risks from Ebola virus-contaminated human excreta and sewage.

There are no known cases of Ebola virus disease in Wisconsin at this time. The Department of Health Services (DHS) is the lead agency for Ebola response in Wisconsin. DHS developed guidance on pretreatment of Ebola virus-infected hospital patient wastewater prior to discharge into sanitary sewer systems. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also developed interim safety guidance for wastewater worker safety.

Guidance

Sanitary Sewer Discharges

Wisconsin Department of Health Services interim guidance on the safe disposal of EBV patient waste in sanitary sewers [PDF exit DNR]

Wastewater Worker Safety

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) “Interim Guidance for Managers and Workers Handling Untreated Sewage from Individuals with Ebola in the United States” [exit DNR]

The guidance is intended for workers who handle untreated sewage that comes from hospitals, medical facilities, and other facilities with confirmed individuals with Ebola. It provides recommendations on the types of personal protective equipment (PPE) to be used and proper hygiene for the safe handling of untreated sewage that may contain Ebola virus.

Disinfectants for cleaning surfaces

Webinars

Recording and Presentation from Water Environment Federation (WEF) and Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF) Webinar on Wastewater Worker Safety and Ebola - November 6, 2014
The Water Environment Federation and the Water Environment Research Foundation hosted a on Tuesday, November 4, to address concerns about the Ebola virus and wastewater worker safety. The “Wastewater Worker Safety - Addressing Concerns on Ebola in Wastewater” webinar [exit DNR] addressed what is known about the survival of the Ebola virus in wastewater and what is needed in terms of research; sanitation and personal protective practices for wastewater personnel; and helpful guidance documents.
Recording and Presentation from American Water Works Association (AWWA) Webinar on Preparing for Ebola in the Water Sector - November 7, 2014
The “Preparing for Ebola in the Water Sector” webinar [exit DNR] featured presentations from representatives of the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, the University of Pittsburgh, District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the U.S. EPA. A question and answer period also followed these presentations.

General information on Ebola

Last revised: Monday December 15 2014