Environmental Genomics™

Next-Generation Wastewater Monitoring

Environmental Genomics™

Next-Generation Wastewater Monitoring


Aster Bio's Environmental Genomics™ platform complements and expands on microscopic exams and other monitoring technologies. Bacteria are not color-coded or wearing name tags, so it's tough to distinguish between visually similar but genetically different filaments. And, some important bacteria such as nitrifiers aren't readily observed by microscope. With the Environmental Genomics™ platform, identification and quantification are no problem!

Experience with wastewater is important in translating lab output into process operations input. Aster Bio combines both advanced lab technique with a deep understanding of wastewater treatment units. Our reports contain concise data summaries with actionable items & suggestions.

Nitrifier Tracking Panels

While ammonia removal is important for many wastewater treatment operations, each system has its own unique objectives. We have developed a set of qPCR tests to characterize the ammonia-oxidizing bacteria and archaea (AOBs and AOAs) and nitrite-oxidizing bacteria (NOBs). These panels can be adapted to fit your needs.

  • Monitor NOBs in nitritation/denitritation
  • Track nitrifiers when altering operating conditions
  • Troubleshoot loss of nitrification


Microbial Community Analysis (MCA)

Traditional wastewater monitoring tests usually ignore the identities of the microbes doing all the work. An MCA is a microbial census that provides insight into the biomass in your operations.

  • What microbes are present?
  • In what relative amounts?
  • What functions are present?


An MCA can provide operational insights.

  • Biological nutrient removal (N & P)
  • Foaming & bulking events
  • Chemical and aeration/energy usage


When faced with upset conditions, you need to make operational decisions that can have big financial impacts. You can't hit pause while waiting on a report. We work hard to get you the information you need in a timely fashion.   Learn more »

Key Microorganism Trending (qPCR)

With quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR, see wikipedia: PCR), you can now track key microbes in your system with high precision, accuracy and sensitivity. For routine monitoring of operations, this quick, low-cost test can act as an "early warning" system, allowing you to detect changes in biomass composition before you see a change in effluent quality or system performance.


Stay on top of:

  • Nocardia-related foaming
  • Zoogleal bulking
  • Problematic filaments
  • Phosphorus-accumulating organisms
  • Ammonia- and/or nitrite-reducing bacteria

Learn more »


You can make better decisions when you understand the composition of your biomass. The microbial community can respond quickly to changes in influent composition or operating conditions, and not always in a good way. Concerned about maintaining biological nutrient removal? Are the right microorganisms present?

For more information, check out this brief overview presentation: 

Overview Presentation
  • Identify the best MLSS concentration or F/M
  • Optimize aeration and mixing to improve efficiency
  • Monitor ammonia- and nitrite-oxidizing bacteria in nitritation / denitritation processes
  • Monitor methanogen populations in anaerobic digesters
  • Detect chronic toxicity before effluent quality changes
  • Reduce the use of polymers and antifoam

Track Key Microbes

Troubleshoot Upsets

Monitor the Impact of Operational Changes


You have lot of different responsibilities. Getting an advanced degree in microbiology shouldn't be one of them. Our reports focus on the important microorganisms and how they may impact your operations. Want all the detailed data, too? Just let us know.

Collect a Sample

Our collection kit keeps things simple. Using the supplied sterile pipet, just transfer 2 milliliters of MLSS to a collection tube, shake to mix, and add a label. Need sampling supplies?

Ship Samples to Lab

Drop the sample in a padded envelope and ship it to us using your preferred next-day delivery service. No ice or ice chest required.

Receive a Detailed Report

For tracking individual strains, reports are typically available in 3 to 5 business days. Microbial Community Analysis reports are available in two weeks or less. In a rush? Contact us to discuss options.

Simplified Sample Collection

Everyone is busy. Difficult sample collection and shipping just slows you down. That's why we've developed a sample collection kit that is quick and easy to use. Just add ~ 2 milliliters of mixed liquor or other biomass (~500 mg/L or higher) to our sample preservation solution, shake to mix, and ship it out in an padded overnight envelope or small box. No ice or ice chest required. Drop us a note to order a sample collection kit.

If you have low-biomass samples, we can still help. Just contact us on the best way to collect and ship your samples.

How to Reach Us

At Aster Bio, we apply advanced biotechnology to biological wastewater treatment. Complex microbial communities degrade pollutants, leaving clean water for discharge. Aster Bio's advanced molecular diagnostics allow us to evaluate your biomass at a genetic level. Unlike conventional laboratory tests, our Environmental Genomics™ platform allows for tracking and troubleshooting at an accuracy not seen with any other technology. We also use Environmental Genomics™ data to formulate and produce bioaugmentation products that help improve control over biomass composition.

Have any questions? Send us a message, and we'll get back to you quickly.
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