What's Living in Your Water?


Improve Drinking Water Safety

In the United States, Milwaukee experienced the largest documented drinking water outbreak in US history. The outbreak occurred in 1993 and was caused by Cryptosporidium parvum, a chlorine-resistant parasite. The outbreak affected over 400,000 people and resulted in over $96 million in combined healthcare costs and productivity losses, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Recent Case Studies

Objective: Identify Cause of Taste and Odor Complaints

Municipal Drinking Water System

glass-waterMicrobe Detectives performed a DNA-based microbial analysis to identify and quantify microbes in eight municipal drinking water samples. Our analysis found that one of the eight locations was contaminated with human-associated bacteria. The specific diagnosis would not have been possible using conventional testing methods. Microbe Detectives recommended further investigation at this location. The municipality found missing backflow prevention valves in a nearby factory, a school, and a courthouse. Microbe Detectives services eliminated the need for a costly and disruptive boil-water notice which would not have solved the problem. Minor problems were identified and corrected before public health and perception risks escalated

Order DNA Analysis of Drinking Water

DNA analysis of submitted drinking water sample. Includes collection supplies, sample ID labels and pre-paid return express shipping. The DNA Analysis will be produced by a doctoral-level application expert and will include a summary of the total data, focusing on bacteria that are typically important in drinking water. The full data is also provided in a spreadsheet. Data presented are bacterial relative abundance (% of total bacteria in the sample). For example 0.12% Actinobacteria means that 0.12% of bacteria in the sample are Actinobacteria. An interpretation of the results that is application specific is communicated in a detailed report by way of email. Consulting services are available for an additional fee, subject to a scope of work. Download a copy of a sample report here.

Order Online

DNA analysis of submitted drinking water sample includes collection supplies and return express shipping. Save on two or more samples. Monthly subscriptions are available for 20+ samples per year. Please contact us to discuss options.

Instructions for Drinking Water Sample Collection

  1. Collect representative sample in sample bottle provided. The sample bottle contains a dechlorinating tablet to remove chlorine and preserve the sample.
  2. Click here to register your sample to enter sample-associated data (i.e. water temperature, dissolved oxygen concentration, etc)
  3. Ship with box and return shipping label provided. Be sure sample bottle lid is securely fitted to prevent leakage during shipment.