News from EPA’s Safe and Sustainable Water Resources Program Water Update

Methods for Primary Concentration of Viruses from Water Samples: A Review and Meta-Analysis of Recent Studies

This paper, authored by EPA scientists, compares current methods and technologies for collecting, isolating, and detecting pathogenic viruses in drinking and recreational waters. The paper was recently published in the Journal of Applied Microbiology. The meta-analysis showed that electronegative filters, electropositive filters and ultra-filters are comparable in performance.  Any differences in recovery are due to virus type rather than filter type, water matrix or sample volume. You can read the paper here.

Scientists Develop Microarray-based Assay to Detect Waterborne Pathogens

EPA researchers recently published a study in which they successfully developed and tested a microarray-based assay that can detect fecal indicator bacteria and human pathogens in tap water.  This tool can simultaneously detect multiple organisms in a single sample as well as provide information on how often these organisms occur.  This information may be used to assess potential exposure risks to waterborne pathogens.

EPA’s Stormwater Calculator will be Released on June 6th

The Stormwater Calculator is an easy-to-use desktop application that estimates the annual amount of rainwater and frequency of runoff from a specific site — any address in the United States — based on local soil conditions, land cover and historic rainfall records. The calculator assesses several national databases to provide local soil and weather conditions for the chosen site.  The user supplies information about the site’s land cover, as well as what type of green infrastructure they would like to use.  Green infrastructure can include low impact controls such as rain gardens, cisterns and porous pavement that retain rainfall on site until it eventually evaporates into the air, infiltrates the ground, or is otherwise consumed. The calculator will be available on EPA’s web site here: