Source Molecular Joins Sewage Discussion in Wisconsin

Source Molecular Corporation attended the Knowledge Development Forum (KDF) on Detection of Sewage Contamination for Rapid Remediation in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

The KDF, held August 10, 2018, was hosted by the U.S. Geological Survey, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and the Water Environment Federation in cooperation with the Great Lakes Protection Fund.

Sewage contamination from illicit discharges and leaking sewer infrastructure are major contributors to surface water contamination and pose a serious threat to public health. Locating the point of entry of sewage into the stormwater system is not only difficult but also very expensive when using standard methods. The Detection of Sewage Contamination KDF provided an opportunity for industry leaders to collaborate and discuss current techniques, the vision of improvements to technology and practices, and next steps.

Source Molecular’s Chief Executive Officer Mauricio Larenas joined in the KDF’s interactive discussion of new technology and management practices related to the detection of sewage contamination. He shared how genetics technology such as microbial source tracking is a superior tool for water quality monitoring. Numerous studies that Source Molecular has assisted in have shown that MST is very effective in detecting sewage contamination. This is because MST analyzes the DNA markers in water samples to determine whether it came from human sources.

Mr. Larenas emphasized that the detection of fecal indicator bacteria (FIB) does not automatically mean human fecal contamination. FIB can come from a lot of sources and can even be naturally occurring in the environment. That is why MST is getting more popular among water managers because it provides faster and more accurate results than culture-based methods.

One of the many projects that Source Molecular was involved in is the MST study entitled “Utilizing DNA Markers for Identification of Human and Non-Human Fecal Sources in Urban Stormwater,” designed by Geosyntec Consultants for the Boston Water and Sewer Commission (BWSC). Geosyntec developed a hypothesis-driven study that assesses bacteria and nutrient sources to and within BWSC’s Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4). The study incorporated the latest and most proven analytical tools including Digital PCR for human and non-human DNA markers, which service was provided by Source Molecular.