Microbial Source Tracking

Ensure the safety and integrity of your water bodies with our state-of-the-art microbial source tracking services. Our laboratories can accurately pinpoint the origins of fecal contamination – whether it be from humans, livestock, or wildlife.

Build your custom quote

Fill out the fields below to help us build your custom microbial source tracking quote.

1. Which animals do you want to detect?

Check any that apply

2. What type of samples would you like to test?

3. Do you need expedited results?

Standard turnaround time is 10 business days. Turnaround of 3 days is available for an additional fee.

Add a sample preservation kit

Ensure the microbiome of your sample doesn't change during shipping. Learn more.

GeneCount® qKit Preserve sample preservation kit

Our team responds to quote requests within 1 business day.


We don’t just identify the presence of contaminants; we trace them back to their source, empowering you to take precise, targeted action.

Our microbial source tracking (MST) service uses qPCR and ddPCR testing to identify the source of fecal contamination quickly and reliably in water samples. This is the gold-standard for fast, accurate identification of specific microorganism targets of concern.

DNA extracted from a single water sample can be used to identify the presence of multiple MST markers, giving an exact proportion of bacteria from each potential contaminant.

We provide everything you need to easily collect, preserve and ship your sample from a variety of sample types including solids, surface swabs, water and wastewater.

Proven and reliable methodology

LuminUltra’s MST services are based on a methodology endorsed by the EPA and trusted by governments, NGOs, scientists, and engineers across North America, including the CDC and US EPA​.

Informed water management

With the source of fecal contamination identified, resource managers can make informed decisions regarding water quality management, protecting communities and the environment.

Act with confidence

LuminUltra’s reporting includes quantifiable data as well as key insights on which fecal sources are the greatest contributors.

Expert support

From project design to results, LuminUltra’s team of experts supports you along the way, helping you design a sample plan that addresses your specific needs.


Turnaround times

Standard: 10 business days
Rush: 3 business days

Available assays

Animal Marker name Description 
Avian GFD General indicator of avian fecal contamination.  
Gulls Gull-4 All birds identified as gulls (or colloquially seagulls as well as pelicans, cranes and snow geese) which are common sources of fecal contamination in coastal and fresh waterbodies.  
Canada Goose CGOF1 Canada Goose only 
Beaver BeaPol01 Animals in the Caster genus. This has been specific validated and used for the fecal tracking of North American beavers.  
Canines BacCan, DG3 Canines, including dogs and coyotes 
Chicken CL Chickens only 
Cattle CowM2 Cattle (colloquially known in North America as cows) 
Horse HoF597F Wild and domestic horses.  
Human HF183, HF183/BacR287, HumM2, H8 Genetic markers of fecal Bacteroides from humans. 
Pig Pig2Bac Wild/feral and domestic pigs.  
Ruminants Rum2Bac Ruminants (hooved herbivores with four stomach compartments) such as sheep, goats, elk, deer, and cattle. 
General Bacteroides GenBac3 General fecal indicator, highly abundant in all warm-blooded animals. 


Your browser is out of date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now