Zooming in where only a microscope can see, Northeastern researchers are trying to determine how the lifestyle changes caused by COVID-19 might be helping harmful bacteria grow in our drinking water. Many buildings have been largely unoccupied for months, and their water supplies have been sitting relatively still. That stagnation means that water stays warm for longer periods of time.
As people slowly repopulate large buildings for work, school, and other activities, the potential overgrowth of pathogens in the water of those buildings could put people at risk, says Ameet Pinto, an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at Northeastern.
Joining forces with Kelsey Pieper, an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at, and Aron Stubbins, an associate professor of marine and environmental sciences at Northeastern, the three address how to best deal with this growing pathogen dilemma as people return to these buildings.