Blue-green algae removal
Blue-green algae, also known as cyanobacteria, are bacteria that cause nuisance and health risks in ponds and lakes that are used as natural swimming water, and in drinking water reservoirs. Blue-green algae can be removed by dosage of hydrogen peroxide. This is a rapid, safe and effective method developed and patented by Arcadis in cooperation with the University of Amsterdam.
Tackling blue-green algae with hydrogen peroxide
Blue-green algae are much more sensitive to hydrogen peroxide than other bacteria and algae that are active in open water. A short contact time of the algae with the hydrogen peroxide suffices to realize a rapid decrease of these toxic bacteria. Hydrogen peroxide dosed in the water decomposes within a few days into oxygen and water. Thus, no harmful components remain after the treatment.
Hydrogen peroxide is therefore highly suitable for the removal of blue-green algae without harming other flora and fauna species in the water. This treatment technique is not only effective and safe, it is also rapid. In most cases 99% reduction in algae is achieved and the site can be opened to the public within 1 or 2 days.
Arcadis has a boat with dedicated dosage system for the realization of algae removal projects. This system realizes low but effective concentrations of hydrogen peroxide, through the use of hoses. In order to assure quality and safety of the work, the University of Amsterdam and independent agencies closely monitor the efficiency and any effects on the natural environment. Arcadis In-Situ Technieken is the only company in the Netherlands to be granted dispensation by the Dutch Board for the Authorisation of Plant Protection Products and Biocides (Ctgb) for this application of hydrogen peroxide.
The first time we tested this innovative technique was in 2009 in the recreational lake Borgerswold in Veendam – the Netherlands. Since then, this technique has proved to be safe and effective. Many recreational lakes and drinking water reservoirs have been treated over the years. The University of Amsterdam is still contributing scientific research for further development of the method.
If you would like more information on the removal of blue-green algae, please contact us.
Recognition of blue-green algae and the associated health risks
Blue-green algae are visible with the naked eye when they form colonies or floating layers. Most blue-green algae are actually green, though some types of cyano bacteria are brown or red.
Not all types of blue-green algae are harmful to health, but the harmful ones commonly occur in the Netherlands and surrounding countries. Contact with the toxins from blue-green algae can cause the following symptoms: headaches, skin rashes, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, painful or inflamed throat, earache, eye irritations, runny nose and swollen lips.
Small children run higher risks because they are more vulnerable and are more prone to swallowing the blue-green algae impacted water.