Source Molecular Corporation attended the 20th Annual Lower Rio Grande Valley Water Quality Management & Planning Conference held May 14-19 in South Padre Island, Texas.
Source Molecular’s Chief Executive Officer Mauricio Larenas gave a presentation on “Evidence-based Guidelines for Microbial Source Tracking Projects” to representatives from academia, private industries, environmental groups, research communities and state and federal agencies.
The conference serves as a platform for discussing sustainability issues that are both important and relevant to the Lower Rio Grande Valley. Like many water systems in the United States, the Lower Rio Grande Valley has its share of water quality problems considering it is one of the fastest growing regions in the country.
Recently, news articles reported that about half of Texas’ major industrial facilities released illegal levels of pollution into rivers, lakes and other waterways over the past two years. The Texas Tribune cited a study by a Texas environmental group and a California think tank. This put Texas in first place for illegal water pollution in the country.
Mr. Larenas noted that, clearly, there is increasing pressure to improve the water quality because pollutants such as fecal bacteria is not only a public health risk but it also brings economic repercussions that cost communities and facilities millions of dollars in lost revenues and penalties.
In order to reduce bacteria levels, it is important to properly identify the source of the pollution. This would be the basis in crafting an effective remediation plan. Mr. Larenas explained that modern microbial source tracking (MST) methods using DNA testing have proven useful in reducing bacteria levels. He described the guidelines in developing successful MST projects.
The water quality management conference was hosted by the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV), along with the Lower Rio Grande Valley Texas Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (TPDES) Storm Water Task Force.