Since it does not happen instantly, chronic toxicity can sneak up on operators. There has been little way to detect chronic toxicity problems until you had significant microorganism loss or inhibition. However, this post is not all gloom & doom - a new way to monitoring exists that detects chronic toxicity before treatment efficiency falls. The new monitoring technology - Aster Bio's Environmental Genomics - DNA based monitoring.
DNA is present in all organisms and we can use this DNA to identify which organisms are present. Using Environmental Genomics testing, Aster Bio can do a complete microbial census of everything present in MLSS - full sequencing of all DNA present. For routine chronic toxicity testing, we can monitor population of target organisms such as AOB/NOB, sulfur reducing organisms (SRB), and bulking/foaming filaments among other organisms. In fact, we can customize our rapid qPCR tests for any target organism in a wastewater plant.
The advantages of using qPCR testing include:
- Rapid results - can be rushed, no waiting weeks
- Quantitative - unlike microscopic exam or trailing indicators, DNA can be quantified
- Sensitive - for detecting chronic toxicity you need early detection. qPCR will pick up changes in population before any other test including plate counts, respiration, ATP, or microscopic exam.