The ability to identify and trace fecal indicators and water-borne pathogens to the point of origin has major ramifications for the water industry, regulatory agencies, and public health. Such information would enable access to safe water by better understanding the sources of contamination and thereby take corrective actions to prevent contamination. Microbial source tracking is widely used to determine sources of fecal contamination in waterways utilizing tools for tracking both fecal and water-borne pathogens contamination in water sources. Approaches to MST are commonly classified as library -dependent or -independent methods using cutting edge molecular techniques. These tools could have widespread applications, including the use for regulatory compliance, pollution remediation, and risk assessment that would potentially reduce the incidence of water associated illness. This session will describe the recent highlights and future directions of microbial diagnostic and molecular microbial source tracking to understand the source and transmission of water-borne pathogens.