Bight ’18 Microbiology element initiates lab training for coliphage-based water-quality monitoring method

Posted November 2, 2018

Participants of the Southern California Bight 2018 Regional Monitoring Program’s Microbiology element have begun laboratory training for a study that will evaluate the relevance and reliability of using coliphage viruses to assess microbial water quality at Southern California beaches.

The Orange County Sanitation District, which was trained in the new coliphage-based monitoring method as part of a validation testing exercise led by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, trained SCCWRP microbiologists on the method in October. SCCWRP and OCSD are working to train other Bight ’18 Microbiology participants in the new method by the end of this year.

EPA finalized and approved the coliphage-based method, officially known as Method 1642, in summer 2018, paving the way for Bight ’18 to evaluate how the new coliphage-based method performs at Southern California beaches. The coliphage-based method will be tested alongside the established Enterococcus bacteria-based method for fecal contamination monitoring.

An intercalibration exercise that will ensure quality and comparability among Bight ’18 Microbiology participants is planned for early 2019, after participants have been trained in the new method. Labs that experience difficulty achieving proficiency will be provided with support until they master the method.

More news related to: Microbial Risk Assessment, Microbial Water Quality, Regional Monitoring, Southern California Bight Regional Monitoring Program