Traditional algae controlling methods (e.g.
aeration, chemical or biological additives, and others) are not
sufficiently effective when it comes to larger waters. They may also be
associated with high labour costs and potentially negative environmental
impacts, especially when chemicals are used. In order to address these
problems, the EU-funded CLEARWATERPMPC project has successfully
developed and commercialised an environmentally-friendly technology.
Known as the MPC-Buoy, the CLEARWATER solution uses ultrasound
technology to prevent the growth of blue-green algae.
The MPC-Buoy is equipped with three ultrasonic transmitters with a
reach of at least a 500 metre diameter. Underneath the buoy, sensors
also monitor the water quality in real-time. The sensors communicate the
information to a web server.
As part of the project research, two MPC-Buoys were installed in the
Skrzyneckie Male lake in Poznan, Poland. The buoys provided a complete
overview of the water quality by collecting the following parameters
every 10 minutes: Chlorophyll (green algae), Phycocyanin (blue-green
algae), pH, TSS, dissolved Oxygen and the temperature.
The project showed that the ultrasound treatment needs to be
adjusted according to the type of algae and other parameters in the
water, to perform at its highest efficiency.
Monitoring also showed a difference in the algae levels between the
lake with the installed MPC-Buoys and several similar other lakes in the
surrounding area. For example, the level of cyanobacteria (blue-green
algae) cells in the Kórnickie Lake, which is located in the same area as
Skrzyneckie Male Lake, was nine times higher compared to the lake in
which the MPC-Buoys were installed.
Local inhabitants also noticed visual improvement in water quality.
The CLEARWATER project team reports that locals have said that the water
in the lake has become cleaner and no algae scum occurred after the
deployment of the two MPC-Buoys.
Although ultrasound was already a well-known and proven technology
for the treatment of algae, the CLEARWATER buoy is said to be unique for
several reasons. In contrast to the currently available ultrasound
based systems, the MPC-Buoy is more cost-effective due to its low
operation and installation costs. It also has an implemented online lake
monitoring system and the possibility for remote control of specific
control parameters. Additionally, the system is independent of power
supply from the shore, since efficient solar panels are used to provide
power all year round in any country.
The MPC-Buoy is patented by Dutch company LG Sound, the project
coordinator. The project concluded in December of 2013, and the MPC-Buoy
has already been installed in lakes in Poland, the UK, the USA, Japan
and Ireland. It has proven to be effective in lakes, ponds, dams and
Source: LG Sound
Reference documents: Based on a CORDIS Wire press release from LG Sound