About genomics based water quality monitoring

About genomics based water quality monitoring

Every water company is obliged to measure a very wide variety of chemical and microbiological parameters in drinking water. There are numerical values attached to each one, >200ppm being for chemical and <10ppm being for microbiological pollutants. These values indicate what is considered to be safe and pure water, ready for human consumption.

The parameters are most important when it comes to the overall quality of drinking water. Their examination is usually based on bacteria culturing methods. This way, Liquid Logic has been able to extend the knowledge about the presence of any possible microbiological threats or processes that can occur during the production and transport of drinking water.

There are numerous ways to check the microbial population in drinking water, but the best way is the direct cell count. Drinking water sources, treatment and distribution are the main influencers that have a huge impact on the biological and chemical composition of the drinking water that further directly affects the quality of it. It is quite possible to control and predict the changes in biological and chemical stability and quality of drinking water by controlling the changes in water treatment processes.

It is important to focus on generating fingerprints or barcodes of the microbial population that is present in the water based on next generation sequencing. This can help us to determine the effect of disturbances on the fingerprint and examine and characterize the indicator or organisms in order to develop a precise monitoring method that will help us to control the water quality during the treatment process.

The advantages of genomic methods

Genomic based monitoring provides the most accurate, cost effective and real time data about the quality and chemical and biological content of drinking water. It has been proven that genomic methods can yield much faster and more accurate results from monitoring than other methods can. Results are also far more reliable and easier for taxonomic identification and more precise for the assessment of the environmental status of drinking water.

Genomic methods can usually very easily be integrated into monitoring programs that already exist and help to determine values such as DNA barcoding, metagenetics, transcriptomics or metagenomics. Molecular technologies are compared to traditional monitoring systems and set the standard for future methods and technologies.

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The sustainable use of drinking water has to go hand in hand with the conservation of our ecosystems and the maintenance of them. Hence, the importance of water quality monitoring. What is harmful to us is also harmful to the environment and polluted waters are the greatest threat we have to face, which is why the use of genomics is critical for analyzing our biological systems.