Using Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) Technologies and Metagenomics to Evaluate Water and Wastewater Quality Monitoring and Treatment Technologies


The emergence of next generation sequencing (NGS) technologies is revolutionizing the use of molecular techniques for understanding complex microbial communities. NGS technologies can provide new and holistic insight into microbial communities and their functional capacities in water and wastewater systems, thus eliminating the need to develop a new assay for each target organism or gene. However, several barriers have hampered wide-scale adoption of NGS in the water industry, including cost, need for specialized expertise and equipment, challenges with data analysis and interpretation, lack of standardized methods, and the rapid pace of technological development.

Project 4961, The Use of Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) Technologies and Metagenomics Approaches to Evaluate Water and Wastewater Quality Monitoring and Treatment Technologies, was undertaken to assist the water industry in comprehending, implementing, and benefiting from NGS. The primary objectives were to identify key opportunities for the application of NGS, assess barriers to its implementation, propose and validate approaches to overcome these obstacles, and develop a comprehensive guidance document to educate water professionals and aid in navigating their options for applying NGS. In this webcast, speakers will present the findings and results of this project, which aimed to advance the application of NGS in the water industry.


Amy Pruden, PhD, W. Thomas Rice Professor and University Distinguished Professor, Virginia Tech

Emily Garner, PhD, Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, West Virginia University

Matthew Blair, PhD, Post-doctoral Researcher, Virginia Polytechnic and State University’s Environmental Engineering Program


H. Grace Jang, PhD, Research Program Manager, The Water Research Foundation