An ultrasonic “algal buster” is to be installed in a reservoir in Wiltshire in a bid to reduce the level of algae. The new device is being floated on Wilton Water near Marlborough by the Canal & River Trust, to tackle what it describes as a “green carpet” of algae.
The solar powered unit emits ultrasonic pulses every few seconds, which damages the organism’s cells. Rob Cole, from the trust, said: “It’s like the death star of the algal world and hopefully it will kill it off.”
Wilton Water, built in the 1830s, is the highest point on the Kennet and Avon Canal and supplies the canal with water.
‘Vibrates algal cells’
But this year, according to Mr Cole, has been bad for algae, which has blanketed the small reservoir, inhibiting life underneath.
“We want to tackle it now and sort out the problem for next year,” he said.
“Essentially this device sends a pulse of sound out through the water and vibrates the algal cells to the point where they can’t survive and nothing else is affected.”
Along with the “algal buster”, the trust has also installed three floating reed islands to encourage plankton.
“They’re like a giant hanging basket in the water,” he said.
“They’ve got long roots which are a habitat for zoo plankton which eat algal growth and hopefully let a bit of light in.”
Photo: The solar powered unit emits ultrasonic pulses every few seconds, which damages algal cells
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