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sector_ico_Environment_trans Environment

DNA-Based Tool for Monitoring and Validating Stormwater Treatment Wetlands

  • Project Leaders: James Atwater, Maria Egerton, Chris Johnston
  • Institutions: University of British Columbia (UBC)
  • Budget: $56,000
  • Competition: User Partnership Program
  • Genome Centre(s): Genome BC
  • Fiscal Year: 2016
  • Status: Closed

Stormwater exiting roadways contains elevated levels of several metals, including antimony, chromium, copper, molybdenum, and zinc as well as heavy extractable petroleum hydrocarbons. Best management practices for stormwater treatment include the development of engineered wetland systems, such as the Lost Lagoon engineered wetland located within Stanley Park, Vancouver. Using the Lost Lagoon stormwater treatment wetland as a study site, Kerr Wood Leidal (KWL) partnered with UBC and demonstrated proof that bacteria can be used as an indicator of metal contamination from highway stormwater and subsequent treatment using engineered wetlands. Future directions include developing a standardized monitoring tool that is widely used in industry. Due to participation in this project, KWL is experiencing corporate advantages as inclusion of the DNA tool for monitoring engineered wetlands resulted in more competitive service contracts. This project provided the first step in unlocking the potential for coupling genomic-based analyses with traditional analyses to better demonstrate that low impact treatment systems are complying with regulatory requirements and meeting design objectives.