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Modulating the Effect of Iron and Total Organic Carbon on the Efficiency of a Hydrogen Peroxide-Based Algaecide for Suppressing Cyanobacteria

Crafton, Elizabeth A., Cutright, Teresa J., Bishop, West M., Ott, Donald W.
Water, air, and soil pollution 2019 v.230 no.3 pp. 56
Chlorophyta, Cyanobacteria, algae, algal blooms, environmental factors, iron, microcystins, sodium carbonate, total organic carbon
The intensity and frequency of cyanobacteria-dominated harmful algal blooms (cHABs) has been increasing. A key issue associated with cHABs is the potential to release cyanotoxins, such as microcystin. One of the primary methods for addressing cHABs in a reservoir is the application of algaecides. This research evaluated the impact of common environmental factors (i.e., Fe, total organic carbon) on the efficacy of a hydrogen peroxide-based algaecide to attain control of a targeted cyanobacterial population. The results found that sodium carbonate peroxydrate (SCP, trade name PAK®27) at half the manufacturer’s suggested application was effective at suppressing cyanobacteria for 2 weeks. For example, reactors that contained a full level of TOC and 1 mg/L Fe significantly decreased by 89% from 21,899 to 2437 ± 987 cells/mL (p < 0.05) by 2 days after treatment with half-dose SCP while reactors that contained the full-dose TOC and no SCP treatment depicted an increase in cyanobacteria population over the first week. Furthermore, as the cyanobacteria population decreased, the algal assemblage began to switch to being green algae dominant. Under the experimental conditions evaluated, Fe and total organic content did not interfere with the efficacy of SCP. SCP can provide effective control of cyanobacteria in a variety of environmental conditions.