MICROBIAL ANALYSIS FOR THE WATER INDUSTRY

About Us

Prokarya is bringing the power of molecular biology to industry. Building upon four years of research in partnership with Northumbrian Water, for the first time industry can benefit from these powerful tools in an operationally relevant way.


Our BacTrack service enables the detection and source tracking of faecal bacteria in a water sample. This can inform bathing water quality investigations and detect cross connections. Our BacPro service can link the identity of bacteria to reactor performance, profiling methanogens in anaerobic digestion and nitrifiers in activated sludge along with many others. Our analysis is flexible to your needs – just call us to discuss.

The Technologies

Lab Information System

STEP 1

When a sample is received it is booked in to our Lab Information System which tracks the analysis from start to finish. This barcoding system minimises the risk of human error and streamlines the downstream analysis.

DNA samples

STEP 2

The DNA from cells in the sample is then extracted using our optimised protocols which are proven to produce the most accurate results.


Our proprietary primers are used in the polymerase chain reaction to isolate and amplify the identity gene (called 16S) from bacteria, ready for next generation DNA sequencing.

Bacteria identifcation

STEP 3

The DNA sequences are processed through our unique and proprietary analysis pipeline which identifies bacteria to species level* and extracts those bacteria relevant to the investigation.


For example an activated sludge BacPro analysis would extract the data for nitrifiers and foamers, whilst BacTrack investigation would extract faecal marker bacteria. This is possible thanks to our unique database which contains the identity and function (e.g. acetoclastic methanogen) of hundreds of bacteria.

Data

STEP 4

Once the relevant data are extracted, comparisons are made according to the nature of the study, such as change in community structure with some parameter such as time or concentration of micropollutants.


See BacTrack and BacPro for more detailed information on the possible contents of our reports.


*where possible - in some cases the bacteria has not yet been isolated and so cannot be identified to species level.

BacTrack

HIGH RESOLUTION MICROBIAL SOURCE TRACKING

To identify the exact proportion of faecal bacteria coming from point (CSOs, treatment works outfalls) and diffuse (cows, pigs etc) sources, Prokarya undertakes further deep analysis of the total microbial community structure to create a "fingerprint" for each source. Using these fingerprints, we can then give detailed analysis of the contribution from each source to the bacteria in the bathing water. This includes the percentage of bacteria coming from each individual point source as well as each diffuse source host animal



USES FOR BACTRACK INCLUDE:

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Identifying which assets have the greatest impact on bathing water quality during both dry and wet (storm) conditions

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Identifying surface water assets which have crossed connections (marker only i.e. presence or absence of contamination from each faecal source e.g. humans, dogs etc)

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Reducing the risk of bacteria failures in potable treatment works by identifying the source of faecal bacteria in the raw water, enabling proactive risk reduction

BacPro

MICROBIAL COMMUNITY PROFILING

BacPro can be used to link the performance of any bioreactor to the underlying microbial communities, including:

Nitrification and foaming

Troubleshooting process problems such as nitrification and foaming

Treatment processes

Surveying treatment processes (activated sludge plants, trickling filters, reed beds) for biological micropollutant removal potential

Effect of operational changes

Comparison of the effect of operational changes e.g. AD feed stock, temperature, pH

Evidence gathering

Evidence gathering in cases such as nitrification failure at low temperatures, or illegal trade effluent affecting treatment processes

BacPro can also inform research projects such as the analysis of pilot plants for enhanced biological phosphorous removal.

Contact Us

WE’D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU!

We welcome any enquiries for more information about any of our products or services. Please get in touch using the contact information below, or the form to the right, and we will contact you as soon as possible!


07492 089596

0191 6622117

Suite 131I, Business & Innovation Centre, Wearfield,
Sunderland Enterprise Park East, Sunderland, SR5 2TJ