26 September 2023

SA breaks through on water testing

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SA Water has announced that its independent business unit, the Australian Water Quality Centre (AWQC) has applied molecular testing technology to optimise water quality management.

The Agency believes this to be a first for a laboratory in Australia.

The AWQC recently attained full accreditation from National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) for its bacterial DNA molecular analysis.

Manager of Field and Life Science Services at the AWQC, Thorsten Mosisch said the bacterial DNA testing method enables the laboratory to characterise entire microbial communities and reveal a diversity of microorganisms not seen before.

“The AWQC has an unrivalled track record of developing and validating more effective testing methods for the detection of waterborne pathogens, in the interests of protecting public health,” Dr Mosisch (pictured) said.

“Proper assessment of pathogens, as part of water quality monitoring, is essential for operational decision-making when improving water treatment processes to prevent waterborne disease outbreaks.”

He said given the health risk associated with drinking water contamination by microbiological pathogens, the continuing safety of water supplies relied on microbiological testing.

“In response, we have developed advanced next-generation sequencing DNA testing methods to optimise water quality management,” he said.

“As part of this, we have curated the most extensive DNA database of waterborne microbiological pathogens in Australia and developed molecular testing methods that provide unrivalled pathogen testing results for a broad range of applications,” Dr Mosisch said.

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