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SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) by qPCR - SAMPLING INSTRUCTIONS FOR COLLECTION OF WASTEWATER SAMPLES:

Sample Collection Recommendations
  • Collect raw wastewater that has not been chemically treated.
  • Refer to Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater (Section 9060) for suggestions on wastewater sampling procedures.
  • Plan to collect samples that are representative of the water being tested.
  • Take precautions to avoid contaminating samples. Wear clean disposable gloves when collecting samples and avoid touching the bottle mouth with hands or surfaces.
  • Samples should be shipped on same day as collected.

Sample Collection and Shipping Instructions
Wearing appropriate personnel protective equipment (PPE):
  1. Keep the sample bottle completely closed until just before collecting the sample. Remove the bottle cap and do not set it down on any surface. Be careful to avoid external contamination during sample collection and do not contaminate the inner surface of the bottle cap and bottle neck.
  2. This test requires 100ml of raw wastewater that has not been chemically treated, per sample. When collecting samples, fill the sterile bottle just beyond the 100ml fill line to the bottle neck, while leaving some air space in the bottle. Replace cap immediately and secure cap.
  3. Wipe the outside of the bottle with an alcohol wipe and label the outside of the bottle with unique sample identifiers that will match the Chain-Of-Custody (COC) to be submitted.
  4. Place the bottle back inside of the bubble-wrapped bag that the sample arrived in from the laboratory and seal tightly. As an alternative, double-bag the bottle in sealed, zip-baggies.
  5. Wipe down the bubble-wrapped bag with an alcohol wipe.
  6. Fill out the EMSL SARS-CoV-2 Chain of Custody form, and place in a separate zip-bag, and seal.
  7. Pack samples well so they are not damaged during shipping. Samples must be wrapped with and shipped with an ice-pack. Bubble wrap is commonly utilized inside of a padded cooler. Ship samples using the provided insulated shipping container.
  8. Write on the outside of the shipping container so that it is clear/readable: TEST CODE M330 - PCR LAB ONLY
  9. Samples should be shipped on same day as collected. If unable to ship on the same day as collected, keep samples cold but unfrozen (<8°C) during transportation of the sample to the laboratory for processing. Wastewater samples can be stored at 2–8°C for up to 72 hours after collection.
  10. Samples must be shipped using ‘Priority’ overnight delivery. 
  11. All SARS-CoV-2 samples must be shipped to the following address. (NOTE: Samples can ONLY be received. Monday through Friday).
EMSL Analytical, Inc.
**TEST CODE M330 - PCR LAB ONLY**
200 Route 130 North
Cinnaminson, NJ, 08077
12. Any samples arriving improperly shipped, damaged, or leaking will be rejected, not processed and discarded.
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