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2023 Cyanobacteria Mitigation & REMEDIATION ProJECT

Project Overview

LACA continued our demonstrations of cyanobacteria mitigation and remediation capabilities in 2023.  The 2023 project plan expanded our research beyond the hydrogen-peroxide algaecide mitigation capabilities that we implemented in 2022 with multiple demonstrations of ultrasonic energy generators on Goldmine Creek, Duckinhole Creek, and Pamunkey Creek. 

The 2023 Cyanobacteria Mitigation & Remediation (CMR) Project included both mitigation and remediation techniques for cyanobacteria control.  LACA defines mitigation and remediation actions as follows:

  • Mitigation: Capabilities, technologies, and techniques that are focused specifically on impacting the life-cycle of cyanobacteria cells. Algaecides and ultrasound techniques are LACA's primary mitigation interests. These techniques are intervention strategies with short-term effects that must be enacted almost continually during each recreational season. The desired effects of both algaecide and ultrasound technologies are observed quickly, often within 24 hours of initiation/application. 
  • RemediationCapabilities, technologies, and techniques that are focused on reducing or eliminating energy sources that cyanobacteria cells feed on or consume.  Phosphorous reduction techniques are LACA's primary remediation interestsPhosphorous reduction techniques are deterrence strategies with longer-term effects when applied in a layered approach to ensure internal and external phosphorous loads are controlled/eliminated. The desired effects of phosphorous reductions technologies are observed relatively quickly, often within weeks of initiation/application.

The Final Report from our 2023 project demonstrations may be downloaded here or by clicking on the cover slide image below.

You can request information or data downloads by contacting the LACA project managers.

Hydrogen-Peroxide based Algaecide Technologies

Lake Guard Oxy Product Information

Lake Guard®️ Oxy is manufactured by BlueGreen Water Technologies.  It is part of BlueGreen’s innovative line of Lake Guard®️ remedies designed to effectively mitigate/remediate algae and cyanobacterial blooms (blue-green algae) in lakes and oceans of any size within 24-48 hours or less. The formulations are based on tried-and-tested algaecides/cyanobacteriocides that are verified safe for both humans and the environment. The addition of a patented biodegradable coat simplifies administration, making the formulation buoyant and transportable by wind and current to affected regions of water bodies without human intervention. These formulations, used in conjunction with BlueGreen’s extensive and advanced data science capabilities, hold the key to solving a host of pervasive worldwide environmental problems.

The Lake Guard®️ Oxy formulation is NSF / ANSI / CAN 60 Certified, US EPA approved, and approved by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS).  The product's effectiveness against Cyanobacteria is so high that only small quantities are needed to make a massive impact.

The active ingredient in Lake Guard®️ Oxy is sodium percarbonate (a chemical that has long been used safely as an algaecide/cyanobacteriocide).  This ingredient is fully approved for safety.  Upon contact with water, Lake Guard®️ Oxy releases hydrogen peroxide which immediately causes oxidative stress in any surrounding cyanobacterial populations, prompting an auto-catalytic cell-death cascade.  The by-products of this highly effective remedy — water and oxygen — are completely harmless to the surrounding environment.

LACA managed the demonstration of Lake Guard®️ Oxy in Lake Anna during the 2022 recreational season.  Before those demonstrations, LACA conducted extensive research on the use of hydrogen-peroxide products in freshwater lakes, rivers and reservoirs.  The research led us to BlueGreen Water Technologies and their Lake Guard®️ Oxy product.  LACA reviewed a number of peer-reviewed research and academic papers on hydrogen-peroxide products and attended multiple seminars (via Zoom and other web conferencing platforms) on cyanobacteria mitigation and remediation approaches.  Based on the research and science-based approach, LACA selected the BlueGreen Water Technologies product Lake Guard Oxy for our Cyanobacteria Mitigation Program in 2022.  

The Lake Guard Oxy Product was applied by SOLitude Lake Management, a licensed, certified applicator in Virginia.  The authorization to discharge this product in Lake Anna is granted under the General Permit issued under Virginia Administrative Code, 9VAC25-800-30Please see our Cyanobacteria Mitigation Program - 2022 web page for information on the 2022 demonstration efforts.

BlueGreen Water Technologies website

Safety Data Sheet (SDS) for Lake Guard Oxy

EPA Labeling Instructions for Lake Guard Oxy

National Science Foundation (NSF) Listing for BlueGreen Water Technologies

Technical Background on Ultrasound Technologies

Many species of cyanobacteria can regulate their buoyancy in the water column using internal structures called gas vesicles. Cyanobacteria with gas vesicles accumulate at the surface during the day to use sunlight for photosynthesis. The ability to regulate vertical position in the water column allows cyanobacteria cells with gas vesicles to achieve and maintain dominance over other plant species in the water. 

Ultrasound radiation treatments reduce cyanobacterial growth by causing structural and functional cellular damage. Ultrasound energy in water induces acoustic cavitation bubbles that cause localized high temperature and pressure conditions. The extreme conditions cause gas vesicles in cyanobacteria to collapse, resulting in loss of buoyancy and cell sedimentation. The sedimentation of cyanobacteria cells thus causes a decline in cellular photosynthesis due to limited light access.

Ultrasound generators produce very low power sound waves at thousands of frequencies (power levels are lower than most fish finders) so other plant and animal species in the water are not at risk. Ultrasound research to mitigate cyanobacteria has been underway for more than 20 years and the frequencies and power levels to impact cyanobacteria species are well understood.

LACA is using five (5) ultrasound generators in 2023.  Three of the generators are from Hydro Bio Science (HBS).  Their systems are called Quattro DB and they are located on the map below on Goldmine and Pamunkey Creeks.  The other two generators are from WaterIQ.  Their systems are the Pulsar 4000+ units and they are both located on Duckinhole Creek.

A file with approximately 19 seconds of recorded audio from one of the ultrasound devices is available.  HBS loaned LACA a hydrophone that converts the sound energy to frequencies we can hear.  Click on this link to hear the audio.  If your browser does not have an audio player, download the file and use your computer's audio player to play the file.

LACA Ultrasound Generator Locations

Monitoring/Sampling Sites

The maps provided below show the location of the cyanobacteria program monitoring & sampling sites for 2023.

Zoomed view of North Anna River, Pamunkey Creek, and Terry's Run sites

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