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ATP and DNA – Who’s on First?


As some of you may have heard, LuminUltra has partnered with Microbe Detectives to offer DNA testing services to the drinking water and wastewater industries.  So “Who’s on First?” (pun intended); simply put, the partnership’s combined technologies tell you who is in a given water or wastewater sample, and how much is in that sample.

How much is in the water or wastewater sample is important because it is the key to taking rapid action in preventing further contamination.  The general rule of thumb when it comes to microbiological contamination is that the longer you wait, the worse the problem will get.  And the worse it gets, the more expensive the problem becomes to solve.  Our 2nd Generation ATP technology will tell you the answer to this question in a matter of minutes compared to days using conventional techniques.

Who is in the water can also be important.  Consider a drinking water treatment facility that takes in surface water from a river or lake.  If there is a major contamination event in that source water, the treatment process may struggle to effectively clean the water before it is sent into the distribution system for consumption by the public.  By knowing there is a problem via 2nd Generation ATP, operators can take immediate action to ensure that treatment is sufficient to eliminate the problem prior to distribution, but in order to fully solve the problem and prevent future occurrences, they need to know where the problem came from.  Is it an algae bloom?  Is it run-off contamination from local agriculture or industry?  Knowing what type of microorganisms are predominant in the source water – in other words, who – can help trace where the contamination is coming from, so that operators can take action to permanently fix the problem and prevent future occurrences.

Genomic technologies are evolving at an exponential rate and have been for several years.  Their evolution is reminiscent of when computing power was doubling every 18 months (Moore’s Law).  This enormously powerful technology will play a critical role in the battle against waterborne microorganisms now and in the future, and LuminUltra intends to be a leader in this market space through the provision of cutting-edge tools and application knowledge that help water and wastewater operators carry out their mandate more effectively and cost-efficiently.


Pat Whalen

Pat has worked his entire adult life to bring LuminUltra to where it is today. When he is not jetting around the world providing hands-on support to LuminUltra’s extensive roster of sales partners and customers, he is constantly refining LuminUltra’s strategy to deliver more value from its solutions. Having come from a family of engineers, he is a consummate problem solver who has written dozens of technical papers, patents and other published works. In the rare circumstance that Pat is not focused on advancing LuminUltra, he volunteers his time on not-for-profit boards and entrepreneur coaching.

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