(WFRV) – I make up 60 percent of the human body; I am essential for survival; I am wasted every day. What am I? Water.

On this week’s Newsmaker Sunday with Tom Zalanski, the Executive Director of NEW Water, Tom Sigmund, joined to talk about NEW Water’s mission, vision, and how residents can do their part to help them continue servicing local municipalities and putting clean water back into the environment.

A long-standing service, NEW Water works to remove impurities from wastewater taken from homes/industries. Once the impurities have been removed, NEW Water takes the clean water and discharges it back into the Fox River.

And to help them continue doing this important work at a high level, NEW Water announced they will be renovating their older facilities located in Green Bay and De Pere.

Sigmund says these facilities have been operating for about 47 years and are due for an upgrade. This renovation will also help the facility be able to process more solids and liquids than ever before.

“We have assets that need work and if we don’t take care of them the community will not have the services they need,” explained Sigmund.

During his stop on Local 5, Sigmund also discussed NEW Water’s study surrounding COVID-19 in wastewater.

Sigmund shared that University of Wisconsin Milwaukee researchers were able to look at wastewater and get an ‘early warning prediction’ about where things are going to go with infections across the community.

“Our part of it is keeping track and knowing so potentially the healthcare systems can be prepared for it. It [COVID-19] has come down as it has come down in hospitalizations and infections. We are watching this new subvariant and concerned will it take hold like the last ones,” said Sigmund.

NEW Water has been sending two samples from their Green Bay and De Pere facilities to the university so they can analyze the water and put those results in a database since April 2020.

Sigmund notes that residents who want to help NEW Water continue discharging clean water back into the environment can do so by doing something very simple- properly dispose of materials.

“We allow you to do all the things you want to do without even worrying about it. You also need to think about it a little bit because of how you deal with things like grease or how you deal with material that shouldn’t be flushed… Those all can impact how well we can do our job and then you might notice it,” shared Sigmund.

To learn more about NEW Water, click here.