Bacterial conjugation, shown in this image, is one of the ways that bacterial cells can swap genetic material, potentially conferring antibiotic resistance to one another. SCCWRP and its wastewater treatment member agencies are tracking whether the genetic material that codes for antibiotic resistance is being discharged into the environment following the wastewater treatment process. Photo courtesy of Alan Cann.


Newport Bay in Orange County faces a looming regulatory compliance deadline for recreational shellfishing. SCCWRP and its partners are launching a study to evaluate whether a water-quality standard designed to protect the health of people who consume shellfish from the bay has been appropriately set.


SCCWRP’s Dr. John Griffith works with a field crew to sample the biofilm community that lives inside a sanitary sewer pipe in San Diego using a vacuum device. Researchers want to know if sanitary sewer systems have unique microbial and chemical characteristics that can be tracked in the environment.