Are Cyanobacteria Affecting Your Drinking Water?
Cyanobacteria and harmful algal blooms (HABs) are a growing concern for water utilities that use surface water supplies. Cyanobacteria, commonly called blue-green algae, can be identified by their blooms that look like spilled paint. They can also reproduce rapidly under the right conditions, and are caused by excess nutrients within the waterbody as a result of stormwater run-off from fertilizers and sewage, sedimentation from increased development, and decomposing organic matter.
Blue-green algae can contaminate drinking water by producing dangerous toxins. They can also produce compounds that cause taste and odor issues in drinking water. These compounds are difficult to manage in treatment plants, and the most efficient way to address the problem is by controlling the organisms that produce the toxins and nuisance compounds in source water. There are no quick fixes for the control of cyanobacteria, however, and a comprehensive water quality management plan is recommended that includes water quality testing, algae identification, nutrient remediation and ongoing monitoring of the reservoir or surface water supply.
To control and prevent cyanobacteria and other algal blooms in drinking water reservoirs, SOLitude executes an Action Threshold-based surface water treatment approach that includes Assessment, Prescription and Implementation:
Toxic Algae Management
- Drinking Water Reservoir Toxic Algal Bloom
Assessment: We assess the conditions of the reservoir by evaluating water quality and identifying the species, location, and density of cyanobacteria populations. We also analyze past water quality data and compare that information to the current conditions to determine the best course of action for control and prevention.
Prescription: Based on assessment information, water quality objectives, and available resources, we will design a site-specific management program. Our integrated solutions are designed around mitigating in lake phosphorus and proactively controlling cyanobacteria at the source before it makes its way to the treatment plant, where it is far more expensive to treat.
Implementation: Once the right management program is identified to meet your specific needs, our aquatic service professionals will implement all aspects of the management plan, to include ongoing monitoring and engagement with water reservoir managers.
Proactive treatment of cyanobacteria in drinking water reservoirs is essential. Without intervention the cyanobacteria are likely to grow continuously, thus increasing the amount of toxins being produced, and greatly increasing the cost of in-plant filtration and treatment. Through the implementation of an individually tailored prescription management program, cyanobacteria can be successfully controlled long-term—which means cleaner, safer drinking water for customers, at reduced cost to drinking water providers.
SOLitude Lake Management is a nationwide environmental firm committed to providing sustainable solutions that improve water quality, enhance beauty, preserve natural resources and reduce our environmental footprint. SOLitude’s team of aquatic resource management professionals specializes in the development and execution of customized lake, pond, wetland and fisheries management programs that include water quality testing and restoration, nutrient remediation, algae and aquatic weed control, installation and maintenance of fountains and aeration systems, bathymetry, mechanical harvesting and hydro-raking, lake vegetation studies, biological assessments, habitat evaluations, and invasive species management. Services and educational resources are available to clients nationwide, including homeowners associations, multi-family and apartment communities, golf courses, commercial developments, ranches, private landowners, reservoirs, recreational and public lakes, municipalities, drinking water authorities, parks, and state and federal agencies. SOLitude Lake Management is a proud member of the Rentokil Steritech family of companies in North America.