microbe detectives

What’s Living 
 in Your Water?

wastewater microbes

Using modern DNA analysis methods, we identify and quantify nearly all microbes in water,
enabling more efficient, resilient, and sustainable water systems.

anaerobic digesters
surface water
potable water
cooling water h

DNA analysis identifies nearly 100% of the microbiology.
Standard water tests identify less than 1%.

The Water and Wastewater Microbiome

wastewater microbes

Microbe Detectives harnesses the power of modern DNA technology to analyze water and wastewater systems in municipal, industrial and agriculture markets. We empower leaders in facilities, technology, and service with knowledge about their water systems that is unprecedented. This translates into improved protection of human health, capital assets, water resources, and the environment at reduced costs.

“An investment in knowledge
always pays the best interest”
– Ben Franklin

“DNA Analysis answers questions that have gone unanswered”

“Microbe Detectives provides a valuable service to monitor, troubleshoot and optimize wastewater treatment plants by providing comprehensive data on nitrifiers, phosphorus removing bacteria, filaments and foamers.” –Tom Fitzwilliams, Wastewater Team Leader, MSA Professional Services

“The cost of routine DNA analyses is pretty minimal the way I see it because of the overall impact it has for our municipal wastewater operation. We see cost savings in energy and chemicals that provide an attractive return on investment, plus we are able to improve our ability to comply with increasingly stringent regulations.” –Jeremy Cramer, Senior Process Specialist, Donahue & Associates

“…Microbe Detectives was the key to identifying and fixing serious problems in the distribution system so we could protect public health and minimize risk for the water utility. Finding these problems with typical investigation techniques could have taken months of effort. In fact, the problem may not have been detected until a health crisis occurred, since the municipality lacks the resources to perform routine facility inspections.” –Ann-Perry Witmer PE, LEED AP BD+C, Project Manager, Foth Infrastructure & Environment

Mike Reardon, Water Industry Leader
CEO and Entrepreneur

City of Fond du Lac, Autumn Fisher
former WWT Superintendent

Trevor Ghylin, PhD, PE
Founder of Microbe Detectives

DNA Analysis of Water and Wastewater Process

1. Collect Water Sample

Order our DNA analysis online and receive a sample collection kit. Collect your sample then register the sample online and ship to us for advanced DNA sequencing.

2. Get Insight

Eliminate guesswork with your water microbiome by seeing the entire microbiological picture in terms of what microbes are present, how many, and what they are doing.

wastewater microbes

Learn how DNA analysis played a key role in saving $35 million

Metagenomics proved low dissolved oxygen (DO) can save big money at a wastewater treatment facility in Texas. Estimated capital costs of a biological nutrient removal (BNR) system was reduced by $35 million, plus $490,000 was saved in annual operating expenses.

case study

About Microbe Detectives

Microbe Detectives was founded by Dr. Trevor Ghylin in 2013. Since then, our services have been vetted with municipalities, corporations, consulting engineers, and technology innovators. The company is a 2014 graduate of the Water Council’s BREW accelerator, winner of the 2015 Wisconsin Innovation Awards, 2017 WEF Gascoigne Award, and was a participant in the 2018 WEFTEC/BlueTech Research Innovation Showcase.

Dr. Trevor Ghylin PhD, PE

Trevor Ghylin PhD, PE

water council brew


wisconsin innovation award


wef gascoigne medal


blue tech innovation


Memberships and Associations

water association memberships

Patent 11,267,738

Method of using microbial DNA sequencing in recovering renewable resources from wastewater and other waste streams

ustpoAbstract: A method is described for recovering resources from a microbe supporting environment such as a water treatment system, comprising the steps of using microbial DNA sequencing to analyze the microbiome of the microbe supporting environment and identifying adjustments to the microbial content of the microbiome that will be useful in extracting resources from the microbe supporting environment such as a water treatment system, wherein the resources extracted can include, for example, methane released by microbes, nitrogen, phosphorus, or other contaminants generated by microbes, and/or clean water obtained by removing contaminants in a water treatment system.

Learn how DNA tech is opening a new window to the microbial world of water

“The Microbiome conference was very dense and efficient in use of time and the information presented was very engaging. The event is very timely as this is a fast moving area with great potential.” –Paul O’Callaghan, Founder and CEO of BlueTech Research

microbiome water summit