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Water Guardians

Thirteen women monitor more than a million parameters and can anticipate a covid outbreak ten to fifteen days before it occurs.

This system for the detection of covid in wastewater, which has already been incorporated into other Spanish cities, has allowed the Global Omnium company to increase its workers five times and go from two to fifteen people, in a laboratory where they work, in shifts , 24 hours a day in a continuous adaptation to change.

Through wastewater, it is possible to discover if there is someone infected by covid in a building, even if it is asymptomatic, which allows, from there, to carry out more detailed PCR tests that allow to limit and reach the infected before this person can cause an outbreak.

This explains the importance of wastewater monitoring and periodic and continuous reviews must be made for which more than a million parameters are filtered.

The pipes are “the arteries of the city”, since with an analysis of them the state of the people can be discovered.

This project began three years ago, in a sum of R + D + i together with the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) and, in particular, with Gloria Sánchez, to detect viruses such as Hepatitis A or gastroenteritis, “when the covid it was not yet part of our lives”.


As of March, everything changed and in just two weeks, with all the necessary instrumentation by the company, five laboratory centrifuges and more quantitative PCRs were acquired, in order to adapt the previous project also to the covid, although they have not stopped to look for other viruses.

It was not until May 3, 2020, that this new performance could begin, for which the existing teams were quintupled.

In just one year, we have exceeded 40,000 samples analyzed and they have already been approved by Health to perform clinical samples, which are generally performed on bubble groups, so with a single sample, confirm if that group has a positive case for coronavirus and from there perform more tests.

New Strains

The appearance of new strains is continuous and the pace at which we work is stressful, not only because of the volume of work, but also because of the adaptation to new variants, the margin of error is very small.

At Global Omnium we have enough tools to detect the English variant, and it highlights that “shortly” they will also be able to identify the Brazilian and South African.

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