WATER: Microbe Detectives: What’s in your water?

    Water fuels the human body, but only if that water is clean.
    Milwaukee-based Microbe Detectives has developed a new DNA-based microbial analysis for the water, waste water and food and beverage and remediation industries.

    Unclean water, or water that contains specific harmful microbes, can be potentially hazardous to a person’s health. According to Trevor Ghylin, president and CEO of Microbe Detectives, traditional methods of testing water for cleanliness are limiting and somewhat rudimentary.

    “Current tests, even if they are successful, don’t tell you a whole lot,” he said.
    One of the most common problems the company is working to address is the development of water microbes on the membrane during the reverse osmosis process, he said.

    “Many wastewater treatment facilities that purify using reverse osmosis will experience a buildup of microbes on the membrane, which doesn’t allow for proper purification,” he said. “Many companies will spend lots of money on chemicals to try and kill those microbes, sometimes unsuccessfully because they can’t identify what the microbe is. Our technology can allow them to not only identify the presence of microbes, but also what kind, so our clients have a better chance of properly managing them.”

    Since moving into the Global Water Center, the company has gone from just a few clients to several dozen across the country, with revenue growing each month.
    “We’re still growing and looking for ways to apply our technology,” Ghylin said. “The feedback has been really positive: we’re addressing our clients’ problems head-on and that’s promising.”

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