Source Molecular Shares MST Guidelines to South Carolina Stormwater Managers

Source Molecular Corporation met with South Carolina stormwater managers in early March and shared guidelines on how to conduct an effective microbial source tracking (MST) project in order to identify the sources of fecal bacteria in the water.

Source Molecular’s Project Manager, James Herrin, was one of the three speakers at the 1st Quarter Meeting of the South Carolina Association of Stormwater Managers (SCASM) held at the Columbia Conference Center on March 1, 2018.

Mr. Herrin first explained the difference between traditional fecal indicator methods and MST methods. He pointed out that FIB can only detect presence but cannot provide information as to where it came from. Fecal bacteria in the water can come from humans, pets, wildlife or farm animals.

In developing an MST project, stakeholders must clearly define project objectives. Then, they should come up with an initial hypothesis of the bacteria source. Afterwards, sampling sites need to be identified and sampling events must be planned, taking into account seasonal changes as well as dry and weather weather conditions.

According to Mr. Herrin, MST tests are not only conducted to confirm the initial hypothesis. “MST tests can also be used to prioritize sites and assess the effectiveness of an illicit discharge detection and elimination (IDDE) program,” he noted. MST has also been used to demonstrate the effectiveness of best management practices (BMPs), Mr. Herrin added.

[Read how the Boston Water and Sewer Commission won a national award for their MST project.]

Working with South Carolina Stormwater Managers

Mr. Herrin related several case studies where MST was used effectively and resulted in successful remediation plans. His presentation was followed by a discussion on Microbial Source Tracking Case Studies done in South Carolina.

Kim Jones, Watershed Management Division Manager, and Beth Lewis, Stormwater Technician, updated the SCASM members about the Town of Bluffton’s MST project. Michael Long, Environmental Scientist, and James Riddle, Project Manager, also shared Woolpert’s work on an MST study for Greenville County. Both sent their samples to Source Molecular’s lab for MST analysis.

The third presentation was about Regulations and Procedures for Reporting Sanitary Sewer Overflows by Dale Stoudemire. Mr. Stoudemire is the Section Manager for the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control’s Bureau of Water. He explained how, when and where to report sanitary sewer overflows.

South Carolina stormwater managers meet every quarter to talk and share ideas about stormwater management policies and best practices.

To know more about Source Molecular’s MST services and how it can help stormwater managers, schedule a time to talk with us at your convenience.