Athens-Clarke County Taps Source Molecular to Identify Waterways Polluter

Source Molecular Corporation is helping Athens-Clarke County in Georgia identify the source of the fecal coliform bacteria that is impairing their streams, whether they come from humans, animals or both.-endpar-

Athens Banner-Herald in December reported that Athens-Clarke County plans to have a master plan for water quality in place the next two years. Early last month, some staff members of the Transportation & Public Works Department and the Public Utilities Department made a presentation for the mayor and the commissioners about the water quality in local streams, rivers and other bodies of water.

Source Molecular is working closely with Athens-Clarke County’s consultant in order to process the samples coming from various parts of the county. Source Molecular provides microbial source tracking (MST) analysis to water managers across the country and has been involved in thousands of projects for close to 15 years.

According to the news report, fecal coliform bacteria were present in at least some parts of 19 waterways in the county, including the Middle Oconee and North Oconee rivers. The bacteria are mostly carried by urban runoff and non-point sources.

Microbial source tracking is a set of techniques used to determine the sources of fecal indicator bacteria in the environment. Source Molecular has the ability to test for 13 sources — Human, Cattle, Swine, Gull, Goose, Chicken, Dog, Deer, Elk, Horse, Bird, Beaver and Ruminant. More than that, Source Molecular has a license from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to use their patented MST tests for Human, Cattle, Chicken and Dog fecal pollution.