Ultrasound wave trial in blue-green algae battle

[New Zealand] The City of Greater Bendigo have begun trialling an ultrasound wave control system to combat blue-green algae at Kennington Reservoir.

The council hopes the new technology will help control toxic algal blooms at the popular recreational spot.

Council manager of engineering and open space Brett Martini said the new technology was easy to install and monitor.

“The system is comprised of an anchored, solar powered pontoon that emits ultrasound waves into the water to destroy algae,” Mr Martini said.

“EnviroSonic is environmentally friendly because it avoids the use of toxic chemicals and is safe for humans, animals, fish and insects. It’s also cost effective because the units last for over 20 years.”

In the past blue-green algal blooms had been fuelled in part by the nutrient-rich storm water runoff which fed the reservoir, followed a period of stagnation.

Blue-green algae is most likely to occur amid lower water levels and ongoing warm weather.

The blue-green algae are very small and can be present in water where there are no obvious signs of a problem.

Most blue-green algal blooms do not last long and often disappear after a few weeks. However, when conditions remain favourable blooms can last longer.

Characteristic signs of algae contact include skin rashes, itchiness, sore eyes, ears and nose or, if swallowed, nausea and vomiting.

Blue-green algae is not the only type of algae known to bloom at Kennington Reservoir. Earlier this year visitors noticed thick blooms of algae floating on its surface.

Council tests found the bloom was not blue-green algae and and would not harm humans or animals.

Mr Martini said the Kennington Reservoir trial was one of a number of ideas being rolled out in the municipality.

“Other water quality improvement initiatives already implemented include the installation of sediment traps in Bendigo Creek and the installation of a floating wetland at Gateway Park,” he said.

“If the EnviroSonic trial is successful we will consider using the system at other urban lakes throughout Greater Bendigo.”


Photo: Blue-green algae is most likely to occur amid lower water levels and ongoing warm weather.

View original article at: Alltech’s Kentucky plant one of largest commercial production sites in the world for algae


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