Source Molecular Corporation attended the 3rd Annual Conference on Environmental Conditions of the Animas and San Juan Watersheds: Past, Present and Future that took place on June 20-21, 2018 at San Juan College in Farmington, New Mexico. The company’s Chief Executive Officer Mauricio Larenas gave a presentation entitled, “Demonstrating BMP Effectiveness with Microbial Source Tracking & Host Fecal Score.”
New Mexico’s surface waters consist of rivers, streams, lakes and reservoirs, and wetlands. Watershed managers regularly conduct water quality monitoring and bacteria is one of the contaminants polluting the waters.
Mr. Larenas pointed out that watershed managers are facing increasing pressure to reduce high levels of bacteria in the water. But traditional methods for monitoring aren’t enough because they can’t distinguish the sources. Fecal bacteria can come from humans, animals, plants, soil and biofilm. Microbial source tracking (MST) has been used to identify sources of contamination. Through genetic testing, the fecal bacteria can be analyzed for unique markers that would identify the source as human, cows, dogs, birds, etc. (Source Molecular’s Complete List of Tests).
Watershed managers develop best management practices (BMPs) to target the identified sources of contamination for mitigation. According to Mr. Larenas, MST can further be used to demonstrate BMP effectiveness. So it’s not only before BMP development but also after in order to show that fecal pollution from a particular source has been reduced.
Mr. Larenas also discussed the human fecal score (HFS) that had been developed by a team of researchers (including Source Molecular’s Vice President of Technology Dr. Yiping Cao), from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Southern California Coastal Water Research Project (SCCWRP), and Stanford University. The HFS can objectively assess the extent of human fecal contamination at a site using a standardized mathematically defined approach.
Source Molecular regularly conducts webinars explaining MST and its applications to water quality management. To attend these webinars, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.