An initiative from the funded study: Canadian Open Wastewater Surveillance Database

Wastewater Surveillance Research Group

The Public Health and Environmental Surveillance Database (PHESD, pronounced “phased”) is a data repository used to store Canadian and international wastewater and other environmental surveillance data. It uses the Public Health Environmental Surveillance Open Data Model (PHES-ODM).

Wastewater testing and surveillance (WWS) has a long history as a public health tool and with the emergence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, a new opportunity has emerged to leverage WWS to inform prevention and control of the COVID-19 pandemic.

With over 200 wastewater testing sites across Canada, and over 2,000 testing sites in more than 50 countries, WWS has proven itself to be an effective tool in the fight against the virus. However, despite the rapid growth in this field and the swift deployment of WWS programs nationally, there is very little data sharing due to the absence of a centralized data repository with controlled vocabulary. This absence has led to varied data and assay quality, inconsistent reporting of wastewater test results, little adjustment of wastewater results, and has slowed the development of wastewater-based epidemiology.

PHESD, a centralized database, serves as a central depository for open access wastewater surveillance data. This will shrink the delay between the measurement and analysis, and provide more data for better modeling, better collaboration, and better tools in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. As the database and the model grow, the database will hold more data. This will remain open and accessible to the public.

Doug Manuel, Warsame Yusuf, & Mathew Thomson. (2021). The Public Health Environmental Surveillance Database (PHESD) (v1.0.0) [Data set]. Zenodo.