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What is Microbial Source Tracking?

Microbial Source Tracking (MST) is a set of methods used to determine the host (different animals or Human) that contributes fecal pollution to a variety of water analysis and water bodies. Fecal pollution is a common problem that occurs in many water systems. When high counts of fecal bacteria are present in a water source, it poses a serious health risk for the public as well as economic losses for industries relying on coastal waters.


The application of MST to risk assessment, total maximum daily load (TMDL) assessment or beach monitoring provides a tool for identifying the source tracking of the pollution and allowing for appropriate remediation and preventative measures to be taken.

Fecal pollution can originate from point and non-point sources. Point sources may include sewage, effluent from wastewater treatment plants and stormwater. Nonpoint sources may include leaking septic systems, agriculture or wildlife runoffs where the entry point of contamination to surface waters is not obvious. Nonpoint sources are most apparent after storm events and are the cause of many water treatment methods system impairments. If it is determined that the major contributor of the fecal pollution of a certain water system is Human, then compromised sewage or septic systems in the area should be the most probable cause. If the major contributor is cattle, then nearby farms should be suspected.

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Fast Result Delivery – 5-10 working days

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EPA: Managers Can Focus Remediation With MST

July 27th, 2017|

Water managers dealing with high levels of bacteria concentration can fix their problems better with the help of microbial source tracking (MST), according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Dr. Orin Shanks, a geneticist at [...]

Source Molecular Supports Biscayne Bay Summit

July 4th, 2017|

Source Molecular Corporation attended the 2017 Biscayne Bay Marine Health Inaugural Summit (BBMHS) on June 28, 2017. The event was held at the Florida International University Biscayne Bay Campus. Source Molecular was one of the [...]

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