Algal blooms can cause a whole host of water quality issues and can be toxic to fish, birds, mammals and humans and produce taste and odour compounds. They therefore have a huge impact on the use of water for recreational activities and as drinking water supplies.

Last year the APEM team worked with several clients to help manage their algal bloom issues, putting strategies in place to monitor, treat and provide ongoing management of populations. These issues included excessive diatom growth blocking water treatment filters, identifying the source of taste and odour compounds and on-going bloom reduction management in a body of water used for recreational activities.

Prevention rather than cure is very much the best approach when it comes to algal blooms. With spring upon us and a gradual warming in temperature and later autumn cooling, the growing season is getting longer, meaning that blooms can develop earlier and persist for longer.

So, what action can you take now before bloom season starts?

APEM’s expert algal bloom assessment and management approach begins with a review of any previous data to diagnose the cause of the bloom, the bloom species and the conditions driving bloom formation. From there a range of management options can be assessed in terms of their effectiveness and feasibility; not all options are effective for all species.

But don’t worry if data are lacking, we can design a monitoring programme for you to gather the data you need. Even a site visit by one of our experts can provide you with valuable ideas on management options.

APEM’s management and mitigation options

There are three levels of approach to dealing with algal blooms:

  • Short term – where blooms are occurring or anticipated, options to control algal levels in the short term
  • Medium term – options for controlling numbers of algae so that they do not form blooms
  • Long term – options for reducing nutrient loads so that low concentrations ensure no bloom development

Recreational water use

The many physical and mental benefits of open water swimming have contributed to an increase in its popularity. For recreational monitoring purposes, APEM’s laboratory provides a rapid analysis of samples, typically within 24 hours, with results being compared with the World Health Organisation guidance for the protection of health from the presence of blue-green algae. We can also advise on a sampling programme in the run up to your event or during your swim season.

Want to know more about algal blooms and how APEM can help?

As the UK and Ireland’s leading provider of algal bloom assessment and management, we regularly work with government bodies, water companies, recreational centres, event organisers and angling associations. Why not read one of our case studies or news articles?

Salford Quays: a water quality success story

Glasgow Commonwealth Games: triathlon swim at Strathclyde Loch

Diving into the European Championships

The downside of a long hot summer… algal blooms

Hydrogen peroxide dosing at the Commonwealth Games

If you have any queries, please contact Heather Webb, Associate Director.
Alternatively you can email us here. Or call 0161 442 8938.