MINOT, N.D. — We can learn a lot from poop.
It may surprise you, but sewage from our communities is used to collect data, which, in turn, drives public policy decisions.
Often in unexpected ways.
In western North Dakota, when the boom in oil development drove a similar boom in population, it was difficult for community leaders to measure just how much their communities were growing. They turned to measuring sewer volume, which was both quicker, and in some ways, more accurate than census surveys.
So it makes sense that researchers want to sample sewage as a way to measure the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
But, in yet another display of just how stupidly political our response to the pandemic has become, some of North Dakota’s communities are refusing to participate.