ESR scientist Dr Wendy Williamson describes the difficulty of determining viral load in our waterways. Viral load is the concentration of viruses within a particular volume.
DR WENDY WILLIAMSON
The viral load is just the concentration of viruses within any particular volume. If you had a blood sample taken, the viral load would be how many viruses are within a certain 10 mls of blood, or 1 ml of blood, or how many viruses are in a gram of faeces. When it comes to water, you need a large quantity of water to be able to do this. It’s not uncommon to work in a 50 and 100… and 1000 litre volumes. So if you wanted to look for viruses in treated drinking water, you'd be looking at 100 litres just to be able to detect a few viruses.