Mount Pleasant Waterworks is one of eight wastewater treatment plants in the state tracking the coronavirus through its water samples after it was first detected in its raw sewage last summer.

Meanwhile, the Department of Health and Environmental Control reported 603 new cases and 25 additional confirmed deaths Friday. With 22,262 tests reported, 3.6% were positive.

Mount Pleasant’s wastewater is collected after going down drains at residents’ homes or businesses before being treated and discharged into the Charleston Harbor. The study of the virus in this water looks at samples taken from the plant twice a week. The samples are then sent to Columbia to be examined by DHEC and the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South CArolina.

Mount Pleasant Waterworks Operations Manager Allan Clum told WCSC-TV reporters they have seen a sharp decline in the coronavirus in the water, a good indication that the public is getting healthier.