Water & Wastewater

Monitoring antibiotic resistance in water and wastewater

An aerial view of a wastewater treatment.

The problem

Water means life

Water is crucial for survival and presents one of the most pressing global challenges today. Each year, significant amounts of improperly treated or untreated wastewater are released into the environment, posing risks to human health through water source contamination and disruption of ecosystems, including microbial ones. With the onset of COVID-19, there has been a heightened focus on water quality and wastewater-based epidemiology, leading to a movement towards standardizing the analysis of water for public health purposes.

Access to clean and safe water is a critical part of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and it is increasingly reflected in initiatives such as the European Union's drive to establish and revise standards for water reuse and treatment. By providing affordable and effective monitoring solutions, our goal is to contribute to the efforts aimed at securing clean and safe water for everyone by making the inclusion of monitoring of antibiotic resistance as seamless as possible.


Up to 90% of antibiotic doses are excreted into the environment.

2 billion

People use drinking water coming from sources contaminated with faeces.

How we can help

Wastewater data for population health

Wastewater and environmental surveillance (WES) is proven to be a comprehensive and cost-effective way to monitor the levels of antibiotic resistance in the human population. Many countries have set up wastewater monitoring initiatives during the COVID-19 pandemic, showing that sewage can offer an effective early-warning system for outbreaks and for monitoring transmission at population level. Monitoring the antibiotic resistance situation in wastewater and water sources can further help anticipate threats to public health.

Evaluate treatment efficiency

Resistomap specialises in water environments and provides the most extensive service available to assess the efficiency of wastewater treatment plants in decreasing antimicrobial resistance by routine surveillance.

Impact on surrounding water environment

Currently, over 80% of global wastewater remains untreated. This pollution not only poses risks to human health but also endangers entire ecosystems. The water sector has demonstrated increased flexibility and innovation by adopting digital technologies to enhance water security and forecast the potential spread of harmful pollution in the environment. It is crucial that this trend to monitor the effects of wastewater discharge on nearby water sources continues in order to minimise risks and prevent potential threats to public health.


Support public health

Provide the essential information to support the management of antimicrobial resistance for public health.


Implement an early detection system through regular monitoring of AMR patterns, to prevent the emergence of hotspots.

Gain insights

Utilise insights to enable long-term strategies and mitigate risks of increased resistance.

As a One Health issue impacting life across humans, animals, and the environment, antibiotic resistance is found in one of the most basic resources for life – water. Antibiotic-resistant pathogens and their genes have been found in streams, rivers, lakes, and oceans. They can often be traced back to discharge flowing from hospitals, farms, or sewage systems. Even properly functioning wastewater treatment systems may not fully remove resistant pathogens and their genes.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Monitor antibiotic resistance with our cutting-edge technology

Contact us to see how our biosecurity intelligence platform can benefit your organization