Environmental Genomics™

Next-Generation Wastewater Monitoring

Do triazines inhibit nitrification?

The short answer? Probably not.


  • March 23, 2021

MEA triazine and MMA triazine are used extensively in the oil and gas industry to scavenge any hydrogen sulfide (H2S) in crude oils and natural gas. We have had a lot of conversations with refineries about the potential impact of triazines on the wastewater treatment plant, so we looked into the chemistry and biology in more detail.

What is the 16S rRNA gene?


  • Jan. 20, 2021

tl;dr: it’s the DNA fingerprint most often used to identify bacteria down to the genus or species level. Aster Bio uses the 16S rRNA gene for our Microbial Community Analysis test – a key part of our Environmmental Genomics™ molecular testing platform.

New tools for tracking Nitrosomonas


  • Oct. 7, 2020

Recently, a lot more of our clients have started using quantitative PCR (qPCR) to track the nitrifier populations in their systems. Several groups do this on a weekly basis – and we have seen some really interesting results that highlight how specific qPCR tests can be.

How to make hand sanitizer sprays


  • July 30, 2020

I’ve been asked several times a week how to dilute store-bought alcohol to make a spray sanitizer. So, I thought I would write it down. There is a basic equation used to for calculating dilutions. Everyone in a lab probably uses this equation at least once a day, and it’s real simple math:

Getting quantitative results out of wastewater samples? Your treatment chemistry may interfere with DNA recovery!


  • Nov. 20, 2019

Purifying DNA from different environmental samples has always been a challenge. There are many different “interfering compounds” in an MLSS sample that can interfere with molecular testing. A great example is humic acid-related substances that are known inhibitors of some of the enzymes we use in qPCR. But we have found other challenges, too.

Tracking nitrifier bioaugmentation with qPCR


  • Nov. 6, 2019

During a scheduled maintenance turnaround, a refinery customer encountered a loss of nitrifier population due to the lack of ammonia influent. We provided them with AB Nitrozyme, our nitrifier product, to restore nitrification. The goal was to restore nitrification within 3 to 4 days. We assumed that, during this period, the added nitrifiers would go through two or three doublings, provided there was sufficient ammonia in the system.

Tracking nitrifier populations with qPCR


  • Oct. 28, 2019
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Is effluent ammonia the first sign of nitrification problems in your system? Well, by tracking the nitrifier population itself, you can see when a reduction in nitrifiers might lead to ammonia breakthrough before it actually happens.

Not every filament fits into the Eikelboom morphotypes


  • Sept. 23, 2019

We work hard to keep our databases up to date with the latest research. We particularly track new articles about filaments that cause issues in wastewater treatment as they can provide real insights into understanding causes of upsets. While poring over a recent review from the Seviour lab on the phylum Chloroflexi (pretty much every member is a filament), I ran across this quote:

Bug Bites - Thauera


  • June 16, 2019

We identify Thauera in most wastewater samples that we see. This genus is closely related to Zoogloea and is often the real contributor to zoogleal (or non-filamentous) bulking.

About the Author

Paul leads Aster Bio’s molecular biology & biochemistry work. His efforts adopting advanced, high-throughput sequencing, qPCR and other molecular technologies has led to Aster Bio’s Environmental Genomics™ testing platform used to monitor waste treatment system environmental microbial populations and bioprospecting for microbial candidates to include in Aster Bio’s bioaugmentation products. Dr. Campbell has extensive experience with microbial physiology, industrial microbiology and fermentation.