Combining Adaptive Management with Alum and Phoslock, the Long Lake Story

Today started the first phase of the Long Lake Adaptive Management Program to help correct years of toxic algae blooms.  The lake is a 330 acre water body in Thurston County Washington.  It has experienced closures for toxic algae blooms over the year including recent summer seasons.  They were looking for a solution that would help mitigate the problems that cyanobacteria cause including lake closure.

Phosphorus is a key driver of cyanobacteria blooms.  When levels are high, these species have a competitive advantage over beneficial algae species because they can fix nitrogen from the atmosphere.  Removing phosphorus as a source in the water column limits the carrying capacity of the lake to produce these blooms.

There has been a school of thought over the years that expensive studies are necessary to come up with plans to fix these problems.  These generally result in costs that would often go a long way toward actually mitigating the problem.  After the study is performed, work proceeds to implement the recommendation of the studies and these often claim they will last for years.

Recent examples are aluminum sulfate treatments designed to “reset” the lake and cap lake sediments, a primary source of phosphorus loading in many lake systems.  These are also generally expensive ventures and while they are “designed” to correct problems for decades, they generally last well short of the lifespan assumed in the study.

Adaptive management is a concept that can be implemented at a much lower cost.  Initial data collection and stakeholder input is reviewed.  If there are data gaps, then those are identified and additional sampling occurs.  With that information, a prescription is developed to alleviate the problem, the prescription is implemented and follow-on monitoring tracks results.  As results are known, additional follow-on work can be suggested and implemented.

The Long Lake prescription was designed to utilize two different phosphorus sequestering technologies.  The first application is happening this week.

Our biologists are using Aluminum Sulfate to target and sequester the phosphorus available in the lake water column.  This will remove much of the P load that would fuel algae growth in the early and mid-summer months.   A video of the alum floc forming behind the application vessel can be viewed here:

A second application will be made this coming week with Phoslock.  Phoslock is a phosphorus sequestering technology that was developed by the Australia Government to combat Harmful Algae Blooms (HAB) and reduce the threat of waterborne toxins to pets, wildlife and human health.  This technology is different that aluminum sulfate.  The Phoslock captures free reactive phosphorus present in the water column and converts it to a mineral that will remain inert.  Phoslock also caps the lake sediments effectively.

In this case the Phoslock application will target the lake sediments below the thermocline where during the summer months anoxic conditions can lead to sediment phosphorus release.

Ongoing monitoring will adjust the program as necessary over the coming years.

The result of this program is forecast to be significantly less than many similar projects in the Pacific Northwest.

Aquatechnex announces Montana Office

Aquatechnex has opened an office in Missoula, MT to serve the needs of the region.

There has been a significant expansion of Eurasian Milfoil in Montana in recent years.  Aquatechnex has a long history of being able to restore lake and river systems impacted by this invasive aquatic weed.  One of the key tools we have for Montana Milfoil Control is ProcellaCOR herbicide.  This technology will selectively target this plant, it will translocate and control the entire plant and will not impact native aquatic plants allowing them to recover.  ProcellaCOR is available through SePRO Pro Certified Applicators and our team has qualified as such.  We are the only Pro Certified Applicator based in Montana and look forward to helping the deal with this expanding problem Pro Certified ProcellaCOR Applicator.

Another problem facing Montana waters are toxic algae blooms.  Many species of cyanobacteria produce acute toxins that can impact wildlife, pets and human health.  They are also directly linked to longer term chronic diseases such as ALS.  Harmful Algae Blooms or HAB are nutrient driven.  As phosphorus pollution increases, HAB species have a competitive advantage.  The Montana State HAB map is shown here State of Montana HAB Map

Montana Harmful Algae Blooms can be targeted and reduced.  Aquatechnex biologists have a number of US EPA registered tools that can treat and mitigate the bloom condition.  We also are expert in the use of Phoslock to remove phosphorus and reduce the carrying capacity of the lake to produce HAB blooms.  We use nanobubble technology to target blooms in smaller lake systems effectively.  We can also install remote HAB monitoring buoys that give us a heads up when conditions are approaching treatment thresholds.

For more information please contact us at 855-245-5253

Nanobubbles for Lake Restoration and Algae Management

For decades we have known that providing dissolved oxygen to the lower layer of lakes can improve water quality.  Lakes can stratify thermally in the spring and summer months isolating the lower layer from the atmosphere.  When that happens, aerobic bacteria can consume the dissolved oxygen that is trapped there in short order and that causes a number of chemical and biological changes to occur.  The primary method of solving this problem has been aeration.

In the last year Nanobubble generators have burst onto the scene.  These systems pump water from the lake into the generator and return water laced with Nanobubbles to the lake.  Nanobubbles are extremely small and negatively buoyant.  About 2,000 of them are smaller than a grain of sand.  These bubbles disperse through the lake.  As they “bump” into organic material, they attach and burst delivering oxygen.  This action will also cause a hydroxyl radical to form and that chemistry can oxidize algae cells and the toxins they may produce.  This can provide 24/7 algae control and over time supplement other lake management activities.

Nanobubble Algae Management Study at ASU

Another unique feature of this type of control is that you can oxygenate the lower portion of the water column without disrupting the thermal stratification that is occurring.  This can provide refuge for fish in the cooler deeper waters.

Aquatechnex can provide a Nanobubble system sized to your lake.  These can be sold directly to your orgainzation, or they can be part of an overall lake management program we perform for you with a set monthly fee.  For more information please get in touch at [email protected]

New HAB/Toxic Algae Monitoring and Response System

This buoy measures chlorophyll a and the pigment that is unique to HAB Blue Green Algae and uploads to the Cloud every 15 minutes. We can monitor your lake from our computer or phone and respond

Aquatechnex biologists have deployed the first of many algae monitoring buoys for our clients in Southern California.  This system measures a number of water quality parameters and reports via onboard cellular system every 15 minutes.  Two of the key parameters measured are Chlorophyll a with provides a measure of algae biomass and Phycocyanin which is a pigment that is unique to Blue Green Algae species.  Blue green algae or cyanobacteria are toxin producers that cause significant problems in our nations lakes and reservoirs.

Every day we examine conditions in these lakes remotely.  When we see Chlorophyll a or Phycocyanin levels increase, we mobilize treatment teams to target and control that growth before it becomes a full blown bloom or toxin producing event.  This allows us to be more proactive and responsive in our mission to keep your lakes free from toxin producing conditions.

To sign up for this service please fill out our contact form and we will get with you shortly.

We are adding SeCLEAR to our Lake Management Tool Box

Lake and pond systems often suffer algae problems.  As the lowest point on the watershed, they become a sink or trap for all the nutrients that flow in through stormwater or other sources.  Algae can be unsightly and many species of algae produce toxins that are a threat to human health.

It is often necessary to treat this problem growth with US EPA approved technologies and our group has been expert in this field for a number of years.  One new tool we are deploying this coming season is SeCLEAR.  SeCLEAR is a whole new idea in algae management, it combines a EPA approved algaecide to knock down problem growth and a phosphorus sequesting agent and water clarifier.  One application can both target problem algae growth and reduce the amount of nutrient available to target future growth.

For more information please contact us at [email protected]

Ian Cormican Awarded SePRO Preferred Applicator of the Year

SePRO President Bill Cullpepper and Aquatic Manager Sam Barrick award Aquatechnex Ian Cormican the Applicator of the Year Award

SePRO President Bill Cullpepper and Aquatic Manager Sam Barrick award Aquatechnex Ian Cormican the Applicator of the Year Award

This past week out team met with the top aquatic plant management firm from across the United States at the SePRO Preferred Applicator Seminar held this year in St. Thomas, VI.  SePRO is a life science company that has invested to bring to market a number of the key tools we need to manage invasive aquatic plants and phosphorus pollution.

During this meeting, SePRO recognized Dr. Lars Anderson, retired from the USDA ARS Aquatic Plant Management Research Program with a Lifetime Achievement Award.  Lars worked on invasive aquatic weed and marine algae issues from his office in Davis California for the past three decades.  Bill Cullpepper credited him with the idea to develop immunoassay to rapidly measure herbicide levels in lakes and thereby more accurately dose areas impacted by invasive aquatic weed growth.

Aquatechnex biologists Kyle Langan and Adam Kleven were awarded “Seeing is Believing” award for documenting two projects that used new technologies from SePRO to remove phosphorus pollution from our clients lakes limiting eutrophication.

The highlight of the evening for us was their selection from over 150 of the top aquatic plant management experts in the United States of Ian Cormican, our Southern California Regional Manager.  Ian was presented with the 2012 Applicator of the Year award for leadership in the field of aquatic plant management.  Thanks to SePRO and congratulations to Ian for work well done.

Aquatechnex introduces Phoslock into phosphorus management programs

Phoslock being applied to remove phosphorus and limit algae production

Algae blooms are a major problem in nutrient rich waters around the world.  The key nutrient that fuels this growth is phosphorus.  The phosphorus levels in a lake or pond generally determine the carrying capacity of that system to product problem algae growth.  In recent years an increasing trend has been toward cyanabacteria.  These bluegreen species produces a number of toxins that are a serious threat to human health.  While there are a number of good algaecides available to lake managers, reducing the amount of phosphorus in the lake can significantly reduce the amount of algae the system can produce and support.  This can be a preventative measure that limits the need for treatment.

Our algae management programs have a new tool.  Phoslock is a patented formulation that is applied to the water surface.  The material settles through the water column removing up to 95% of the reactive phosphorus present in the water.  It also form a barrier on the water sediment interface that adsorbs phosphorus from the sediment pore water.  Unlike other phosphorus removal technologies, this material will work in a wide range of pH and under anoxic conditions.

Our scientists calculate the phosphorus mass balance for the system and determine a dose that will target and remove this limiting nutrient.  For more information please contact us at and we can discuss how this new technology may meet your needs.

Aquatechnex saves City Drinking Water Supply from Toxic Algae

Aquatechnex biologists scrambled to Southern Oregon this past Friday to control a toxic algae bloom at a city drinking water supply reservoir.  This system was experiencing a significant Anabaena Bloom.  This species of algae can produce toxins and when water tainted with this algae is processed it can cause taste and odor problems that exceed water quality standards causing a violation. 

As this system was not allowed to use a copper based algaecide, we used the new peroxygen formulation of GreenClean Pro.  This granular product is applied through an eductor system as shown here and rapidly forms buffered and stablized hydrogen peroxide when the granules hit the water.  This application started affecting the algae almost at once.  There are no impacts on other organisms and this product is approved for use in domestic water supply systems as the byproduct is oxygen.

Eductors are a new and effective way to broadcast granular algaecides and aquatic herbicides like GreenCleanPro.  These systems put out an excellent coverage pattern and make for a much cleaner and dust free application.  The granular material is metered into a water stream and broadcast from a treatment vessel guided by GPS technology. 



It should be further noted that Solarbee aeration systems had been installed two months ago and this is the worst the lake has ever been. 


For more information contact [email protected] or

You may also access our complete blog at for other interesting articles or view our web site at  If you are interested in deploying CleanGreenPro against your algae problems in the Western United States, we would appreciate the opportunity to discuss your problem and help you craft a solution.