Source Molecular Exhibits at Southeast New York Stormwater Conference

Source Molecular Corporation was one of the presenters and exhibitors at the 18th Annual Southeast New York Stormwater Conference & Trade Show held in Beacon, New York, on October 17, 2018.

The conference was presented by the Lower Hudson Coalition of Conservation Districts, whic is comprised of ten soil and water conservation districts working together to conserve water quality and natural resources in the Hudson River Estuary watershed.

Source Molecular’s Chief Executive Officer Mauricio Larenas gave a talk on, “Leveraging DNA to Identify Bacteria Sources in Stormwater.”

A June 2018 news report by The New York Post identified three beaches in southeast Brooklyn that were deemed unsafe for swimming because there was so much fecal bacteria detected by the health department. Quoting Dan Shapley, the water-quality program director for Riverkeeper, the Post noted that about 27 billion gallons of raw sewage and storm water are dumped into New York Harbor every year when combined sanitary-storm sewers overflow during heavy storms.

Mr. Larenas said that effective remediation of polluted environmental waters begins with identifying the source of contamination. Traditional methods in water quality monitoring use fecal indicator bacteria (FIB) to determine the presence of fecal bacteria. However, most FIB are considered harmless and can sometimes even originate from non-fecal sources.

More stormwater managers are turning to microbial source tracking (MST) to determine fecal pollution sources in environmental waters. MST uses DNA sequences of host-associated microorganisms to accurately identify bacteria sources. Mr. Larenas relates that genetic technology gives stormwater managers valuable information about bacteria sources. MST results will allow them to measure and demonstrate BMP effectiveness. To learn more on how Source Molecular can help in bacteria impairment projects, send an email to

The LHCCD aims to provide technical and educational assistance to municipalities and private landowners in water quality improvement and natural resource protection and conservation. The common goal of the member-districts is the abatement of nonpoint source (NPS) pollution, which can carry a lot of contaminants such as fecal bacteria.