Have you heard of cyanobacteria? It is not some new superbug, but rather the cause of blue-green algal blooms in freshwater lakes. Aside from being an eyesore, it also means the loss of lakes as a valuable source of drinking water. Blue-green algae blooms release toxins that can be deadly to animals–damaging their liver and nervous systems–and harmful to humans: acute exposure can lead to skin rash or irritation, gastroenteritis, and even respiratory distress.
A combination of excess use of fertilizers containing phosphorus and nitrogen, untreated sewage releases, and warmer water caused by climate change.
Researchers from France, Italy, Spain, the UK, Malaysia, and Canada have come up with a new study that aimed to find out if blue-green algae blooms have been increasing and discovered that excess use of fertilizer, loaded with phosphorus and nitrogen, was one major cause of water contamination.
The study, which sampled 100 lakes in North America and Europe also concluded that untreated sewage release, as well as warmer water caused by climate change, was also, factors in increased blooms, but the highest increases were found in lakes exposed to excessive discharge of fertilizers.
North American lowland lakes had a 61% increase in occurrence of blue-green blooms, and European lakes experienced a 70%. Alpine lakes, which were isolated from agricultural and farming activities, only saw a 36% increase in comparison.
The study says water treatment is possible by adding chemicals that bind the toxins together, and to remove them before they reach the tap, but such preventive strategies have not been popular in many locales as the threat of blue-green blooms has not previously been a major concern. However it is not unheard of as both the UK and Australia spend $100 million yearly to preserve their drinking water quality from blue-green algae. Measures to keep fertilizer and sewage away from drinking water sources, which has been imposed by the EU Water Framework Directive, is also paramount to protect communities, according to the study.
A possible solution to this expensive problem is Natural Golf Solutions’ LLMO treatment. Being all natural and environmentally sensitive, LLMO isn’t about loading more chemicals into an already fragile lake system. And with its high yield of microbes, LLMO is also a very economical product to use in dealing with algae buildup!