DNA Analysis of Surface Water



Surface Water DNA Analysis

The EPA has estimated that up to 3.5 million people per year become ill due to contact with raw sewage from sanitary sewer overflows, and that ten percent of all water samples taken from American beaches exceed the protective benchmark for swimmer safety. Illnesses associated with polluted beach water include stomach flu, skin rashes, pinkeye, respiratory infections, meningitis, and hepatitis. Regulatory agencies and municipal water operators rely on total coliform tests to provide an assessment of water quality. Positive coliform detections indicate there may be fecal pollution in the water. This may be misleading because coliform tests include several fecal bacteria as well as many naturally occurring environmental bacteria not associated with fecal contamination. In addition, coliform tests are not effective in tracking the source of the contamination. They can not distinguish human-associated bacteria from things like animals or birds.

Benefits of Surface Water DNA Analysis

  • Biological contamination can come from sewage overflows, agricultural run off, birds, and other sources.
  • DNA methods distinguish each type of source. For instance, humans, cows, horses, pigs and birds can be distinguished.
  • Once the source is understood, it can be tracked to where it came from much more accurately and efficiently than is possible with any other type of microbiological analysis.

Microbiome Analyst

Our Microbiome Analyst will work with you to design and execute the most effective sampling and analysis plan, tailored to meet your unique needs and goals.

Your Microbiome Analyst will provide guidance on the DNA analysis methods that will meet your needs and objectives.

Recent Case Studies

Objective: Contamination Source Tracking

Lakes and Fresh Water Recreation

A DNA-based microbial analysis was conducted to identify and quantify microbes associated with high coliform test results on the Great Lakes, near an urban recreational beach. The traditional coliform tests were not able to determine whether the contamination was from human-associated bacteria or from other contamination sources. The DNA analyses concluded the fecal contamination was associated with birds. This provided conclusive evidence that the contamination was not from sewer overflows known to be a problem during periods of excessive rains.

Dna Analysis in Surface Water News

Navy Diver and Microbiologist Joins Microbe Detectives

Navy Diver and Microbiologist Joins Microbe Detectives

Microbe Detectives is happy to announce Grant Schouweiler, a microbiologist from Purdue University and former diver for the U.S. Navy, has joined the team as a Microbiome Analyst. We spoke with Grant about his unique background and future of microbiology in biofuels,...

Microbe Detectives selected for the WEFTEC Innovation Pavilion

Microbe Detectives selected for the WEFTEC Innovation Pavilion

Microbe Detectives is one of seven water tech innovators, selected by BlueTech Research from a field of 200 companies, to showcase in the 2018 WEFTEC Innovation Pavilion at booth 3129-L. WEF’s Innovation Pavilion highlights a selection of the most promising technology...