Nationwide, wastewater-based monitoring was newly established in Scotland to track the levels of SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA shed into the sewage network, during the COVID-19 pandemic. We present a curated, reference data set produced by this national programme, from May 2020 to February 2022. Viral levels were analysed by RT-qPCR assays of the N1 gene, on RNA extracted from wastewater sampled at 122 locations. Locations were sampled up to four times per week, typically once or twice per week, and in response to local needs. We report sampling site locations with geographical coordinates, the total population in the catchment for each site, and the information necessary for data normalisation, such as the incoming wastewater flow values and ammonia concentration, when these were available. The methodology for viral quantification and data analysis is briefly described, with links to detailed protocols online. These wastewater data are contributing to estimates of disease prevalence and the viral reproduction number (R) in Scotland and in the UK.


This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

Cite as

Scorza, L., Cameron, G., Murray Williams, R., Findlay, D., Bolland, J., Cerghizan, B., Campbell, K., Thomson, D., Corbishley, A., Gally, D., Fitzgerald, S., Low, A., McAteer, S., Roberts, A., Fang, Z., Mayer, C., Frantsuzova, A., Baby, S., Zielinski, T. & Millar, A. 2022, 'SARS-CoV-2 RNA levels in Scotland’s wastewater', Scientific Data, 9, article no: 713. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41597-022-01788-3

Downloadable citations

Download HTML citationHTML Download BIB citationBIB Download RIS citationRIS
Last updated: 28 November 2022
Was this page helpful?