Report Says Microbial Source Tracking Is Important in Addressing Fecal Pollution

Top Quote Microbial Source Tracking techniques play an important role in solving fecal contamination in water bodies, according to a technical report prepared by a committee of stormwater experts. End Quote
  • Miami, FL (1888PressRelease) October 06, 2014 - A technical report by a voluntary committee of stormwater experts acknowledged that Microbial Source Tracking (MST) techniques are important in addressing fecal pollution in urban areas and Source Molecular Corporation was cited as one of the MST laboratories contacted during the creation of the report.

    The Committee, associated with the Urban Water Resources Research Council of the Environmental and Water Resources Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineer, released a report last month that serves as a technical resource for local governments working to address elevated fecal indicator bacteria (FIB) in urban areas, particularly with regard to National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit requirements arising from FIB total maximum daily loads (TMDLs).

    The Technical Committee Report included several examples of how MST was used in a number of projects in order to determine who was causing the fecal contamination of water bodies in urban areas. It was noted that when the U.S.

    Environmental Protection Agency updated the Recreational Water Quality Criteria (RWQC), which established health-based water quality criteria intended to protect human health in the context of primary contact recreation in streams and lakes, in 2012, it also allowed options for development of site-specific standards that provide equivalent protection to EPA's recommended criteria. "Sanitary surveys, possibly including microbial source tracking techniques, are also important evidence needed for developing site-specific standards in urban areas," the Committee found.

    The Committee concluded that communities should begin with simple, less costly methods focused on identification of human sources of FIB, progressing to more advanced methods where problem areas have been targeted. It has been a long-running complaint that MST is too expensive but the report pointed to a study noting that "although the costs of advanced methods are higher than traditional water quality constituents, having definitive answers regarding whether human sanitary sources are present can help focus investigations and corrective actions."

    Source Molecular has helped hundreds of local government agencies struggling with water quality problems brought about by the presence of fecal bacteria. One of the many MST tests Source Molecular is capable of performing is the Human Bacteroidetes ID assay, which the EPA has modified and improved to make it more sensitive and more accurate. Source Molecular was granted a license by the EPA to use this new and improved test. Aside from Human, Source Molecular's laboratory can also detect fecal contamination from 12 other hosts - Cattle, Swine, Gull, Goose, Chicken, Dog, Deer, Elk, Horse, Bird, Ruminant and Beaver.

    About the Company
    Source Molecular Corporation is a private commercial laboratory founded in 2002 with a mission to fill the void between source identification research and real-world implementation of the technology. Throughout the years, the Source Molecular microbiology laboratory has analyzed samples for hundreds of industrial plants, watershed management groups, state/federal government agencies, universities and engineering firms making it the leader in the Microbial Source Tracking (MST) industry. By providing commercial MST testing services, Source Molecular assists clients with recreational water quality monitoring and supports Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) development and implementation.

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