Map of San Geronimo Creek, Marin County, California (cr. Marin County)

Marin County’s San Geronimo Valley Planning Group is evaluating the watersheds that encompass the Lagunitas and San Geronimo Creeks, which drain into Tomales Bay and provide coho salmon habitat. Water pathogens have been detected in the watershed and Tomales Bay. Faulty on-site wastewater systems, especially for properties in close proximity to streams, have been identified as among the sources contributing bacterial water-born pathogens.

The San Geronimo Valley Planning Group has tapped Berkeley Lab and Gary Andersen, developer of the PhyloChip, to test the water to determine the sources that are contributing bacterial pathogens. The PhyloChip can identify and measure relative abundance of more than 50,000 microbial taxa, which in this context provides a “fingerprint” so contaminant sources can be tracked. Read more…