Source Molecular Discusses Digital PCR at EPA Region 6 Stormwater Conference

Source Molecular Corporation tackled Digital PCR during its presentation at 2018 EPA Region 6 Stormwater Conference held August 19 to 23, 2018, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. This year’s conference theme is “Our Water, Our Future: Communication, Collaboration and Adaptive Management for Improved Stormwater Quality.”

Stormwater runoff is one of the leading causes of waterbody impairment. It is responsible for nearly 40% of the surveyed waterbodies not meeting water quality standards, according to Charles W. Maguire, Director, EPA R6 Water Division. Mr. Maguire and Dr. Kim Jones of Texas A&M University led the opening session of the conference.

Source Molecular’s Chief Executive Officer Mauricio Larenas was one of the speakers at the conference with a presentation entitled, “Finding and Reducing Bacteria at the Source with the Droplet Digital PCR.” The Droplet Digital PCR method uses a water-oil emulsion droplet system which greatly reduces impact of interfering compound, making it highly suitable for complex environmental samples such as stormwater or those contain high concentration of interference compounds.

An increasing number of water managers are using Digital PCR for their microbial source tracking projects. Mr. Larenas related how Digital PCR was useful in an MST project in Boston. The project showed how Digital PCR was uniquely suited to detect DNA and identify pollution sources in environmental samples, even complex stormwater outfall discharges.

Chad Johannesen, project scientist at Daniel B. Stephens & Associates, Inc., also presented, “Implementation of a Microbial Source Tracking Project for the City of Albuquerque” and discussed different MST methods used.

The 20th Annual Stormwater Conference was held in partnership with Texas A&M University in Kingsville, Albuquerque; Metropolitan Arroyo Flood Control Authority (AMAFCA); Bernalillo County, South Sandoval County Arroyo Flood Control Authority (SSCAFCA); Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s), and States in Region 6.