Source Molecular Corporation was mentioned in a presentation entitled, “Results from an Experiment to Find Sources of Fecal Coliform Bacteria in Stormwater Runoff” at the Florida Stormwater Association’s Winter Conference last month.-endpar-
David Tomasko and Emily Keenan of Environmental Science Associates and Charlotte County Engineer Joanne Vernon presented a summary of the results of a manipulative study to determine bacteria sources in the watershed of Sunshine Lake in Charlotte County. Sunshine Lake is one of the several hundred waterbodies that are listed as impaired by fecal coliform bacteria in the state of Florida. Very high levels of fecal coliform bacteria were detected in stormwater runoff. Three locations were sampled twice and these water samples were sent to Source Molecular for microbial source tracking (MST) analysis. The results of the MST tests showed that the bacteria did not come from humans or dogs. Since sewage was not the source of bacteria, the county did not need to “fix” the sewage collection system. Visual inspections showed that dogs could be a source and the county could address that by public education.
Source Molecular is the nation’s leader in the field of microbial source tracking and it has been helping thousands of water managers across the country identify the source of their fecal pollution problems. Using MST effectively has led to millions of dollars in cost savings like in the case of Charlotte County where they found that their sewage collection system is not the cause of the contaminated stormwater runoff. If sewage had been the source of the bacteria, MST can still provide further guidance by pinpointing exactly which part of the system needs to be fixed, eliminating a long, expensive and untargeted rehabilitation process.
Source Molecular was an exhibitor at the FSA Winter Conference held December 9-11, 2015, at the Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando. It was the second time that Source Molecular attended an FSA Conference in 2015, the first one being the June 17-19, 2015 FSA Annual Conference at Sanibel Harbour in Ft. Myers.
Over 240 engineers, scientists, stormwater managers, policy-makers and elected officials participated in the Winter Conference. Source Molecular met with many of them and shared the news about its license from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to use their patented genetic testing methods developed specifically for the detection of Human, Cattle, Chicken and Dog fecal pollution. Source Molecular’s representatives also talked about the laboratory’s Digital Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) service. Digital PCR is an advanced technology that provides absolute quantification of the target DNA, allowing water managers to know not only the source of fecal pollution but also exactly how much fecal bacteria are in the water.
Source Molecular’s laboratory is also capable of identifying whether the fecal indicator bacteria found in water samples came from Swine, Gull, Goose, Deer, Elk, Horse, Bird, Beaver and Ruminant.