Harmful cyanobacterial blooms are caused by a sudden intensification of the cyanobacterial population in water bodies, often in response to man-made pollution. They cause a major disturbance to aquatic ecosystems due to the anoxic conditions created under the thick layer of cyanobacterial “scum” and to the accumulation of toxins produced by cyanobacteria under bloom conditions. Cyanotoxins accumulate in drinking water as well as in the aquatic food chain and pose an immediate risk to humans as well as to animals that depend on these resources. Cyanobacterial blooms have become an annually recurring major concern throughout the world, with no effective control measures available to-date.
As no other solution is available, authorities must deal with the catastrophic repercussions of the harmful blooms by purifying toxin-contaminated water in water-treatment facilities using advanced filtration processes or through massive chlorination, and subsequent de-chlorination, at the water intake points. Such treatments are expensive, not always effective (a notable example is the State of Emergency declared in Ohio in August 2014, when processed tap water drawn from Lake Erie was rendered unusable due to a cyanobacterial toxin contamination), and only solve the drinking-water problem, leaving damages to the environment and to the industry unattended.
Algal blooms cause a severe environmental disturbance to water bodies worldwide.
The USA, EU and China, to name a few, each spend an annual total of hundreds of millions of dollars in order to cope with consequences of harmful algal blooms.
Astonishingly, although algal blooms have been known for more than 40 years, no large scale solution is available.
The Lake Guard™ series is a unique combination of market approved algaecides and a novel delivery mechanism that enables, for the first time, an optimal application of these algaecides in water bodies, irrespective of size or scale. The Lake Guard™ controls blooms fast and cost-effectively at their earliest stages, thus preventing them from becoming a humanitarian and economic catastrophe.
Harmful algal blooms come in response to human activities and result in a major ecological disturbance, intoxicating an entire waterbody and harming most living organisms that rely on it.
In extreme cases, cyanobacterial blooms create “aquatic dead zones” where oxygen is depleted and mass mortality of aquatic fauna is the result.
Similar to the human body that requires medication in order to recover from a disease, an infested water body requires treatment.
Our Lake Guard™ line of products relies on hydrogen peroxide and copper sulfate as a first line of treatment. Each is a US EPA approved algaecide. They have been studied for many years – and have been found to be selective in nature and a minor disturbance, especially in comparison with the alternative, which is having a full-blown bloom.
The case for the floating and slow releasing Lake Guard™ formulation is in fact highlighted through the ecological prysm, as it leverages on an effective and selective treatment while creating the conditions that allow smaller doses to be administered with a much higher precision than ever before.
Field trials with the Lake Guard™ have demonstrated that parallel to the decline in cyanobacterial cell mass in the waterbody, an increase in non-toxic and competing green algae was registered, indicating that the ecosystem was undergoing a healthy transformation whereby natural competitors of the cyanobacteria took control over the ecological niche.
Not much. Especially when considering the alternative of no action and its disastrous implications.
Our usage guidelines aim for treatment at the earliest stages, before the development of a massive bloom. This approach dramatically limits the treated area, keeps the needed dosage to the bare minimum and reduces the exposure of the aquatic fauna to unneeded algaecides on the one hand and cyanotoxins on the other.
Since the Lake Guard™ is designed to float and to slowly release its active compound, the actual chemical effect is physically limited to the surface of the water while keeping concentrations at minimal levels and enabling living organisms to find shelter, if needed at all, in deeper waters or simply upstream.
Lake Guard H2O2™ breaks down simply into water and oxygen. Within hours, no trace is left in the water of its inert, biodegradable coat. Due to these traits, it is suitable for use in natural water reservoirs as well as in potable water resources.
The Lake Guard Blue™ is composed of copper sulfate which is a heavy metal. Although it is approved for all types of water bodies by the US EPA, including potable water sources, there is a global attempt to reduce its useage. Having said that, the Lake Guard Blue™ is far more potent than the Lake Guard H2O2™, meaning it is likely to be used in extreme bloom cases, as well as in water reservoirs with less concern of copper accumulation.
If used according to guidelines, timely use of the Lake Guard™ should prevent the creation of a bloom and the accumulation of toxins in the first place. Any released cyanotoxins will be degraded by residual compound and diluted in the water..
If a late-stage treatment is unavoidable, toxin levels will rise once the full blown bloom collapses. However, this inevitable result would also occur if left to develop naturally and most likely under much worse conditions.