How often do I need to sample?
How often you sample is your choice.* However, sampling at a higher frequency may allow you to detect trends more quickly and glean more time-sensitive public health insights.
What is the sampling log? Why is it important?
A sampling log must be submitted with each kit as it provides our data team with the information needed to analyze your sample and generate your results. In this very brief form, we ask for a handful of identifying details, such as a sample’s ID number found on the barcode on each tube, collection location, and date. We request you submit your sampling log within 24 hours of collecting your sample to ensure prompt delivery of results. You can access the digital form at app.biobot.io/sample.
Can a sampling log be updated once submitted?
Yes, sampling logs can be updated with supplemental or corrected information after they have been submitted. However, edits need to be made in our system by a member of the Biobot team. To edit your sampling log, please email email@example.com and a Biobot team member will confirm when the changes are made.
What is the best way to package my return sample?
For a detailed instructional video on how to package and ship our kits, click here.
Our sampling kit comes with all of the materials you will need to ship back your sample. The best way to package your samples is to place the filled tubes and absorbent pad within the biohazard bag, then put the sealed biohazard bag and freezer packs into the bubble mailer. (Note: Make sure that the kit IDs on the tubes match the kit IDs on the bubble mailer!) If only one ice pack fits in the bubble mailer, place the second pack outside the mailer, inside the box. Packaging the samples this way helps keep the temperature as controlled as possible and keeps those handling the return package safe. Paper sampling logs only need to be filled out if the electronic sampling log form is inaccessible for any reason.
Can I establish recurring FedEx Pick-Ups for my sampling location?
Yes! To set up recurring pick-ups, just visit biobot.io/shipping. That link will redirect you to a form to set pickup times and frequencies with our shipping contractor, Mercury. If you have any questions or issues while shipping with Mercury, you can reach them directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If I am unable to ship back my sample as planned, what can I do?
A Biobot wastewater sample can be safely stored in a refrigerator (4°C) for up to two weeks without compromising its integrity. As long as it is shipped back to us within that window, we can reliably analyze the sample. Please do not store collected samples in the freezer. Biobot’s lab can receive samples on weekdays and will process samples in the order received on a rolling basis.
What happens in the case of inclement weather?
If there is inclement weather on the day you plan to sample, you can pick a new sampling day. Please still accurately record the sampling period on your sampling log.
If weather conditions delay your sample’s return to our lab, our team will do our best to contact you. Biobot’s lab is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and winters in New England can often be unpredictable. We will do our best to process your sample as soon as it arrives and provide your results as quickly as possible.
*As dictated by the guidelines of their respective programs, Biobot Network participants sample once per week, and CDC program participants sample twice per week. Organizations with other customer types can customize their sampling schedules to increase or decrease sampling frequency.