Source Molecular Corporation was one of the speakers at the Municipal Wet Weather Stormwater Conference, which was held May 21-23, 2018, in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Source Molecular’s Project Manager James Herrin gave a presentation on “Finding and Reducing Bacteria at the Source with Droplet Digital PCR.” Mr. Herrin explained the new technology by citing a case study featuring a microbial source tracking (MST) project in Boston.
The City of Boston’s Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination (IDDE) program performed thousands of dye tests and successfully corrected hundreds of illicit connections. However, FIB levels remained high in their Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4). The city wanted to know if humans or animals are contaminating the water.
Mr. Herrin related how Digital PCR is uniquely suited to detect DNA and identify pollution sources in environmental samples, even complex stormwater outfalls. Digital PCR tells water managers not only the source of fecal pollution but also exactly how much fecal bacteria is in the water.
Source Molecular also exhibited at the conference. This is the third year in a row that Source Molecular supported the event, which is hosted by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Region 4, the International Erosion Control Association (IECA) Region One and Southeast Chapter of IECA. The IECA Southeast Chapter includes Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina.
Improving water quality is important. Municipalities in the region continue to work to comply with water quality standards. In fact, the City of Chattanooga’s Stormwater Regulations Board recently recommended the approval of increasing water quality fees so they can boost annual spending on water quality improvements and meet Clean Water Act requirements.
This is the 5th annual MS4 conference in the region and it drew over 200 attendees consisting of stormwater managers, city/county professionals, designers, engineers, consultants, contractors and distributors.