The massive and rapid growth of cyanobacteria, especially of toxic species, is a huge problem. As a result, not only does the water quality deteriorate, but also the risk to the health and life of aquatic organisms, and above all to bathers, increases significantly. For this reason, reservoirs used for recreational and sports purposes can be closed if there is a cyanobacteria bloom, which can result in financial losses. What measures can be taken to prevent mass blooms of cyanobacteria? What solutions should you use when a bloom has occurred?

Cyanobacteria, despite having chlorophyll and the ability to oxygenate through photosynthesis, are neither plants nor algae. They are classified as prokaryotes in the kingdom of bacteria, which are characterized by the lack of a cell nucleus and cell organelles. Cyanobacteria are mostly self-feeding – they produce organic compounds through photosynthesis. Some species also have the ability to bind free nitrogen from the air, thanks to which they can develop even in an aquatic environment poor in nitrogen compounds. There are over 2,000 species of cyanobacteria in the world, the vast majority of which can cope well even in very unfavorable conditions, such as: poor lighting, poor oxygen conditions, or high pH value. They are most often found in freshwater, but they can also be found in seas, on glaciers, on tree bark, as well as in hot springs with temperatures of nearly 90° C. Cyanobacteria are present in all water reservoirs and this is completely normal. The problem begins when their number increases rapidly. Then cyanobacteria blooms which is the mass multiplication of cyanobacteria and simultaneous death of their cells; this is visible in the form of blue-green slimy material that accumulate under the water surface.

Conditions leading to cyanobacteria blooms

Cyanobacteria blooms most often occur when several factors occur simultaneously: increased concentration of nitrates and phosphates, a low nitrogen to phosphorus ratio in the water, increased water temperature, and still weather conditions. At this time cyanobacterial blooms are being encountered more often and lasting longer and longer due to increased disturbances to the biological balance of aquatic ecosystems. This state of affairs is influenced by increasing water fertility (unnatural eutrophication of water reservoirs), increased pollution of surface waters, as well as climate changes which are increasing water temperatures year by year. The intense proliferation of cyanobacteria can be noticed today throughout Poland, and in fact globally, most often during the warmer seasons – especially in shallow bodies of water and bathing areas. If a water reservoir which is used as tourist and recreational infrastructure is attacked by toxic species of cyanobacteria, a serious toxicological problem arises. On the other hand, closing the bathing areas where cyanobacteria blooms (most often during the holiday season) leads to serious financial losses.

Toxic compounds in cyanobacteria

Fortunately, only some species of cyanobacteria produce strong toxic substances that are dangerous to humans and animals. High concentration of these toxins in the water can damage the liver, irritate the nervous system, skin, and mucous membranes, and can be carcinogenic. The intense growth of cyanobacteria also contributes to a significant deterioration of water quality, which is manifested by lower oxygen concentration, the formation of hydrogen sulphide in the bottom zone (which kills fish), reduced species diversity of phytoplankton and other aquatic organisms, as well as the production of unpleasant odors. The functioning of the entire water ecosystem becomes seriously impaired.

Possibilities for fighting or eliminating cyanobacteria

In the event that mass blooms of cyanobacteria appear yearly in highly eutrophic reservoirs, the cause of this phenomenon must be eliminated. A good long-lasting effect can be achieved by applying comprehensive reclamation treatments aimed at restoring the functions and features of water reservoirs as close as possible to nature. Reclamation, however, is not only an expensive method, but also a long process. Restoring a lake or other water reservoir to its natural state may take several years, however a more practical, and above all – cheaper – solution, can turn out to be an ad hoc solution. When cyanobacteria blooms, a very effective countermeasure is the use of free atomic oxygen, to which cyanobacteria is hypersensitive. This innovative technology for the elimination and control of cyanobacteria consists of introducing granules of our CyanOxide mixture into the water. Within a few days (three to five) the free atomic oxygen eliminates cyanobacteria and neutralizes its toxins. This mixture additionally contributes to better oxygenation of the water and bottom sediments, which promotes the natural self-cleaning processes of the water reservoir. The beneficial effects of the use of an active atomic oxygen donor is long-term – there is a significant decrease in the biomass of cyanobacteria (lowering the recurrence of blooms), a significant improvement in the physicochemical parameters of the water, and an increase in the species diversity of phytoplankton.




CyanOxide – anti-cyanobacterial emergency – YouTube

Cyanobacteria – fighting cyanobacteria in water reservoirs – an article on combating cyanobacteria in water reservoirs – PDF

CyanOxide – leaflet A4 (Polish)
CyanOxide – leaflet (Polish)

CyanOxide – leaflet (German)

CyanOxide – effects of application