ghylin weftec wqtcMicrobe Detectives is pleased to invite you to attend upcoming presentations by Trevor Ghylin P.E., PhD, founder and CTO at WEFTEC 2016 held on September 24-28 in New Orleans and at the AWWA Water Quality Technology Conference held on November 13-17 in Indianapolis.

  • Nutrient Removal: Using DNA to Monitor and Troubleshoot at WEFTEC on Tuesday, September 27 in Room 347 at 4:30pm
  • Industrial Treatment Troubleshooting: DNA Can Help You at WEFTEC on Wednesday, September 28 in Room 243 at 9:00am
  • Microbial Communities in the Distribution System During Nitrification at WQTC on Wednesday, November 16 at 1:30pm.

WEFTEC the water quality event

WEFTEC offers high-quality, comprehensive education such as 29 workshops, 130 technical sessions, 16 mobile sessions on the exhibit floor, facility tours and more. Register here for WEFTEC.

Trevor Ghylin, P.E., PhD and Leon Downing P.E., PhD, Senior Technologist, CH2M, and Jeremy Cramer, Superintendent, City of Fond du Lac, WI, will present the WEFTEC technical session “Nutrient Removal: Using DNA to Monitor and Troubleshoot” on Tuesday, September 27, 2016 in Room 347 at 4:30pm.

Trevor Ghylin, P.E., PhD and Steve Leach, Staff Scientist, Novozymes will present “Industrial Treatment Troubleshooting: DNA Can Help You” at WEFTEC 2016 on Wednesday, September 28, 2016 in Room 243 at 9:00am.

Abstract: Monitoring and troubleshooting of wastewater treatment processes has been limited by our ability to see into the microbial world of these systems. The primary tool at our disposal is a simple microscope, not unlike microscopes that have been around for more than one hundred years. The microscope is able to give us some very quick information (i.e. filaments, pin floc, protozoans, etc) but doesn’t provide precise identification or quantification of beneficial or problem bacteria. Fortunately, recent advances in DNA sequencing now allow us to sequence DNA from samples of biomass in wastewater treatment plants and identify and quantify nearly all the microbes in the system. This allows us to provide precise identification and quantification of all the microbes important to the system. Now that we finally can “look inside the black box” we can start to solve problems and optimize the system.

Water Quality Technology Conference

WQTC is the premier conference for water quality professionals around the world held on November 13-17, 2016 in Indianapolis, Indiana. This established and highly regarded conference provides a practical forum for a wide range of water technology professionals to exchange the latest research and information.  Register here for AWWA Water Quality Technology Conference

Trevor Ghylin, P.E., PhD and Rick Sakaji, P.E., PhD, Manager of Water Quality at East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) have authored the technical session Microbial Communities in the Distribution System During Nitrification on Wednesday November 16 at 1:30pm. This presentation will detail a DNA study they performed on the EBMUD drinking water distribution system.

Abstract: The common view of nitrification as expressed in the AWWA M56 manual is a rather simple chemolithoautotrophic mediated two-step process of first converting ammonia to nitrite (Nitrosomonas), then nitrite to nitrate (Nitrobacter). Recent work has challenged this concept in a number of publications that have examined the nitrification process and biofilms in pilot studies using genetic testing techniques and nucleic acid sequencing libraries. Applying these same techniques to samples collected from a drinking water distribution system, researchers have shown the underlying communities to be very complex communities.

These genetic techniques give us the opportunity to improve our understanding of the microbial populations inhabiting a drinking water distribution system. Over the past year we have had the opportunity to characterize the microbial population during a nitrification episode and in a pipe leading to a nitrifying distribution reservoir before and during ice pigging. Not too surprising was the fact that using nucleic acid identification techniques samples collected during these water quality events, showed the presence of a diverse microbial community. For example, Nitrospira was present, but no Nitrobacter (nitrite to nitrate conversion). The presence of Planktomyces indicates that Nitrosomonas are not the only ammonia oxidizing bacteria present in the community.

Recognizing the diversity of these communities has provided an opportunity to rethink some of our nitrification control practices. Rather than simply breakpoint chlorinating or providing chloramine booster stations, are there other ways to affect nitrification control?