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Alternate Algae Control

Grand Strand Stormwater Pond Management Conference March 3, 2012

George W. Hutchinson AlgaeControl.US Charleston, SC

What Is Algae?
Interesting Facts ! Number of Species: 70000 to 100000 ! Wide Range of Construction:
! Single Cell ! Filamentous ! Silicon shells (diatoms) ! Colonial

! Similarities to Plants, Bacteria and

Microscopic Animals

Local Algae Types

Oedogonium, Lyngbya, Diatoms and Some Epiphytes

Local Algae Types

Oedogonium and Melosira

Local Algae Types

Microcystis Colonial Blue-green Algae

What Causes It To Bloom?

Algae Respond to Available Nutrients ! Primary Nutrient: Phosphates ! Secondary Nutrient: Nitrates ! Sources:
!Lawn Fertilizer !Decaying Detritus (leaves, grass, etc.) !Natural Sediments (phosphate deposits)

! Rain Runoff (nutrients from soil)

Bloom Effects?
Problems Associated With Blooms

! Pond Scum, Floating Mats, Green Water ! Odors ! Safety Issues From Toxins ! Drainage Issues ! Fish Kills

The Ugly Side of Algae

The Ugly Side of Algae

Common Algae Control Methods


! ! ! !

Copper Sulfate (Blue Crystals) Peroxide (Sodium Percarbonate Crystals) Pond Dyes For Shading Herbicides (Endothall)


! Precipitate Phosphates With Flocculants ! Ultraviolet (smaller ponds)

! Alum or Aluminum Sulfate ! Polyacrylamides Polymers

Issues With Common Control Methods


! ! ! !

Copper Sulfate Over Dosing => Fish Kills Peroxide Strong Oxidizer (handling safely) Pond Dyes Artificial Appearance and Passive Herbicides Chemical Residual and Fish Kills


! Flocculants (Alum and Polyacrylamides)

! Eventual Re-Release of Nutrients ! Need for Mixing into Water Body ! Potentially labor intensive

! Ultraviolet Not cost effective for larger ponds

Alternative Control Methods


! Attack the Root Cause Excess Nutrients ! Take Care of Transient Blooms Without Chemicals
Using Ultrasonic Devices

! Increase Oxygen Level to Improve Fish Habitat ! Bioaugmentation with Beneficial Bacteria Combine
Natural Calcium with Phosphates to Form an Insoluble Phosphate Mineral (Hydroxyl Apatite)


Sonic Solutions, LLC: Ultrasonic Underwater Generation Power Controller The Basic Operation
110, 220 VAC 50/60 HZ or 24 VDC Solar. Float

24 volt DC Frequency Generator

To Power 50 cable std. Extensions of 50 or 100 available out to 250 max.

Piezo Transducer Emits 79 Frequencies Over the Algae Critical Ultrasonic Range.

Ultrasound Transducer Output Pattern Largest Unit

Blue-Green Algae (cyanobacteria) Kill Range

Green Algae Kill Range

Size of a Football Field with End Zones

Effects Of Ultrasound On Algae

Centre for Aquatic Plant Management, UK Work Commissioned by Sonic Solutions, LLC

The picture on the left shows healthy Spirogyra, with cells full of cytoplasm, and the characteristic spiraling chloroplasts. The algae was sourced from a tank at the CAPM in Sonning and had been healthy for at least 5 years.

This picture was taken after only 7 days exposure to ultrasound. Already the plasmalemma is coming away from the cell wall, and the cells have shrunk. There is increased granulation of the cytoplasm, indicating loss of chloroplast structure, and loss of connectivity with other cells and the external environment.

Effects Of Ultrasound On Algae

Centre for Aquatic Plant Management, UK Work Commissioned by Sonic Solutions, LLC This picture was taken after 14 days exposure. The cells have continued to shrink, with some forming denser circular brown agglomerations in the center of the cell. There is some evidence of cytoplasm leakage from the cells, indicating further damage to the cell walls.

The picture on the right was taken after 21 days, and shows complete breakdown of cell structure.

Algae Biological Parts Make Them Susceptible To Critical Resonance Vibration Gas Vesicle:
Rigid hollow cylindrical structures with conical ends made of proteins. As blue-green algae create carbohydrate mass or better termed ballast during sunlight hours, they will gain enough weight to be heavier than water and sink. This allows them to find necessary nutrients near the bottom or at lower depths. As the carbohydrate ballast is consumed, they slowly rise to the surface.

Blue-Green Algae Can Have Thousands of Gas Vesicles

Above Source: Texas A&M, Corpus Christi,! Dr. Paul Zimba, Microcystis Aerugenosa,! Note White Areas Indicating Gas Excaped Due to 24 hours of Ultrasonic Treatment, February 2012

Above Ref: Gas Vesicles , Anthony E. Walsby, Microbiological Reviews, March, 1994

Blue-Green Algae With Ultrasonically Damaged Gas Vesicles Before/After

Macrophytic Algae Not Controlled With Ultrasound




If it looks like a plant, it is unlikely that ultrasound will harm it.

Types of Algae Not Controlled With Ultrasound

Pediastrum Types

Cylindrospermopsis Raciborskii


Before and After Results Using Sonic Solutions Ultrasound

Before and After Results Using Sonic Solutions Ultrasound Pictures Courtesy Lake Doctors of Florida

After 90 Days on Black Mat Lyngbya

Before and After Results Using Sonic Solutions Ultrasound

Advantages of Ultrasonic Algae Control

!! !! !! !! !! !! !! !! !! !!
100% environmentally friendly. No generation of by-products. No genetic mutation of survivors. Simple to install. Very little maintenance is required. No chemicals or additives needed. Very low energy consumption. Relatively inexpensive to purchase. Large water bodies are no problem. Wall biofilm where significant quantities of bacteria are produced can be significantly reduced or eliminated.

Disadvantages of Ultrasonic Algae Control

!! Macrophytic or plantlike algae are more difficult to eliminate or are

!! Thick plants or these plantlike macrophytic algae structures can

prevent ultrasound vibration to reach other parts of the water to be treated. output to be effective.

!! A line of sight to the algae must be available for the transducer !! A few algae types will not be affected by ultrasound (some
euglenoids, oscillatoria, scendesmus, macrophytic, and some colonial types like pediastrum are resistant). effectiveness.

!! Patience is required as weeks are sometimes needed for full

Completing the Water Trifecta

! Aeration: ! Sub-Surface Bubbler with Compressor on Bank ! Floating Surface Aerator or Aerating Fountain ! Beneficial Bacteria: ! Powder or Sinking Pellets ! Dose at 1 lb per surface acre per month Cost is about $15-18 per month per acre

Completing the Water Trifecta

! Aeration Examples Sub-Surface Bubbler

Completing the Water Trifecta

! Aeration Examples

! Surface Aerating Fountain

Completing the Water Trifecta

! Aeration Benefits:

! Improves Fish Health and Growth ! Increases Aerobic Bacterial Action ! Reduces Odors from Anaerobic Bacteria ! Provides Environment for Rapid Sludge Digestion and Removal

Completing the Water Trifecta

! Bacterial Bioaugmentation

! Seasonal strains for ! Winter (39 65 F) ! Spring/Fall (60 75 F) ! Summer (greater than 75 F) ! Pellets for removing edgewater sludge, leaf debris and nutrients

Completing the Water Trifecta

! Bacterial Bioaugmentation Benefits

! Abates Excess Phosphates by Mineralizing them with Calcium to Form Hydroxyl Apatite ! Substitutes Aerobic Digestion for Anaerobic to Eliminate Sewer Smells

! Ultrasonic algae control is now a viable and cost effective way to control most nuisance algae types. This technology offers an environmentally friendly approach, eliminating many chemicals and chemical handling issues. Aeration and Beneficial Bacteria help eliminate the soluble phosphates that drive algae growth and improves the health of the entire pond. !