How could tracking people's toilet movements help monitor the spread of the new coronavirus?
Well, researchers at a British university say this "sewer science" could be deployed in countries across the world, because it could, in fact, reduce the need for mass testing.
Early studies have shown that the disease can be detected in sewage.
Professor of Environmental Science at Bangor University, Davey Jones says that data could be pretty useful.
"Most people know that you emit lots of virus through respiratory particles and droplets in the lungs. But actually what's lesser known is that you actually emit more small viral particles in faeces than you do from the lungs. So, basically we're using that. Basically tracking people's toilet movements, every time you are infected or every time a person becomes infected with COVID-19 they start shedding the virus through the sewer system. And although it's not infectious at this point, we can just monitor the amounts of essentially dead virus in the wastewater and use that as a monitoring tool to basically work out how many people in the population have contracted the disease."
Essentially, on a wider scale, sewage sampling could help estimate the approximate number of people infected in a geographic area - without having to test every single person - making it a pretty efficient time saver.
The practice has been used to monitor health threats and viral diseases before.
It's a crucial tool in the global fight to eradicate polio, for example, and scientists in Britain and elsewhere also use it to monitor antibiotic resistance genes from livestock farming.