Rapid Fluorescent Assays for Coliforms in Shipboard Wastewater

Period of Performance: 01/01/2015 - 12/31/2015


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Luna Innovations, Inc.
301 1st St Suite 200
Roanoke, VA 24011
Principal Investigator


All marine vessels with installed toilets must be equipped with a marine sanitation device (MSD) to minimize the impact of discharging potential pathogens into the environment. Although waste water is generally processed according to regulations, the effluents from many of the deployed MSDs are not routinely monitored for coliforms; it is simply assumed that the MSD is working properly. Therefore, there is significant risk that unsafe wastewater effluent is being released into river or coastal waters unintentionally. Therefore, to better enable the United States Navy and commercial vessels to meet regulations, rapidly and inexpensively monitor the performance of MSDs and minimize onboard storage space requirements, Luna Innovations is developing the E.coREADi? system to detect fecal coliforms in MSD wastewater effluent. Luna?s technology will be rapid (less than 5 hours currently, less than 3 hours envisioned by the end of Phase II), sensitive (monitor 1 CFU/100 mL in the specified time), easy-to-use, require no specialized training, allow historical tracking of analysis, and will save significant expenses along with space on Navy vessels.