Harmful Algal Blooms are an annually recurring major environmental problem worldwide caused by a sudden intensification of the cyanobacterial population in waterbodies. Cyanotoxins accumulate in drinking water as well as in the aquatic food chain and they can also spread through airborne aerosol particles to nearby regions.
They pose immediate and prolonged risks to humans and animals that depend on these resources.
Harmful Algal Blooms are a significant concern throughout the world. Algal blooms, or blue-green algae, occur in freshwater, while in saltwater they are referred to as “red tides”. Harmful Algal blooms occur more frequently in warm temperatures but can occur all year long.
We currently have 5 facilities worldwide; our HQ and R&D facilities are located in Israel, and we have branches in the US, China and South Africa.
Yes, many successful documented treatments were performed over the years. Our website contains many case studies showcasing some of our deployments.
You are welcome to contact our sales team for any inquires, including application services, guidance, and large purchases:
International – [email protected]
USA – [email protected]
South Africa –[email protected]
China – [email protected]/
Israel- [email protected]/
The ready-to-use, 10 lb. granular Lake Guard® Blue is available for purchase on Amazon for US residents. (Link)
Harmful Algal Blooms are heavily affected by human activities and result in major ecological disturbances, contaminating entire waterbodies and harming most living organisms that rely on them. In extreme cases, cyanobacterial blooms create “aquatic dead zones” where oxygen is depleted, resulting in mass mortality of aquatic fauna.
Like the human body that requires medication to recover from a disease, an infested water body requires treatment. Our Lake Guard® line of products relies on hydrogen peroxide and copper sulfate as the first line of treatment. Each is a US EPA-approved algaecide. They have been studied for many years – and have been found to be selective for cyanobacteria and a minor disturbance for the ecosystem, especially in comparison with the alternative, which is a full-blown Harmful Algal Bloom. The advantage of the floating and slow-releasing Lake Guard® formulation is highlighted through the ecological prism, as it leverages an effective and selective treatment while creating the conditions that allow smaller doses to be administered with much higher precision than ever before. Field trials with the Lake Guard® products have demonstrated that parallel to the decline in cyanobacterial cell mass in the waterbody, an increase in non-toxic and competing green algae was registered, indicating that the ecosystem was undergoing a healthy transformation whereby natural competitors of the cyanobacteria took control over the ecological niche.
All relevant information regarding the limitations and safety measures is located on our product label. Please read the label before product application. Additional information can be found on the product SDS (Safety Data Sheet). Ready to use,10 lb. granular Lake Guard® Blue is available for purchase on Amazon for US residents. (Link)
The Lake Guard® products are best used in ponds and lakes over 0.5 acres in size with an average depth of 3 ft.
It depends on application methods and other factors, but we generally recommend the morning hours.
Dose is dependent on the algal bloom conditions in the water. Normally, in case of a visible bloom, a dose of 10 lb/acre should solve the problem. For a preventative treatment, use 1 lb/acre when water clarity is reduced and/or pH levels rise to above 8. In ponds with fish and a visible bloom, extend the application of the recommended dose over 2-3 days to avoid mass-algal decomposition and subsequent oxygen depletion. If you have aerators/fountains in the pond, keep using them throughout the treatment and for 48h after.
The Lake Guard® products rehabilitate contaminated lakes in days, making the water safe. First visible results are delivered within 24-48 hours, sometimes even faster.
After application, the product will float towards the region where the blooms are concentrated and time-release the active ingredient. Improvement in the water can be observed within hours and throughout the days to come. In case of an algal bloom, one should abide by local authorities’ advisories and recommendations for water use. There is no need to suspend recreational activities during treatment with Lake Guard® . Boating activities can continue as planned. However, for extra caution, we recommend that swimming activities be suspended for several hours after treatment, especially during the first major treatments intended to bring down cyanobacterial concentrations to manageable levels.
Yes, the Lake Guard® products are approved by the U.S. EPA for any waterbody, and are certified by the NSF/ANSI/CAN 60 standard for treatment in drinking water.
Yes, the Lake Guard® Blue is approved by the U.S. EPA for any waterbody and certified by the NSF/ANSI-60 standard for treatment in drinking water. For applications in waters destined for use as drinking water, the waters must receive additional and separate potable water treatment. Do not apply more than 1.0 ppm of metallic copper in these waters.
Can we use Lake Guard pro
Yes, the Lake Guard® products can effectively treat any phytoplankton species, including all algae and cyanobacteria. It will not affect water plants (e.g., hyacinth or duckweed).
At least 5 years.
Intensification of toxic cyanobacteria (also known as blue-green algae) or Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) worldwide, driven by the rising nutrient levels in waterbodies (owing to household, industrial and agricultural activities) and global warming – is a matter of concern due to serious threats to the water quality in rivers, lakes and oceans. Human, livestock and pet fatalities following consumption of water containing toxins were already reported. Halting drinking water supply and recreation activities in contaminated waterbodies, as well as severe impacts on their ecology and biodiversity, has further increased public awareness of this problem. Currently, the direct and indirect costs of HABs are estimated at billions of Euros, and figures are expected to rise significantly with the spreading of HABs to northern EU countries due to rising temperatures of waterbodies. Several strategies have been developed to mitigate HABs, without success.
An integrated approach is essential for efficient and sustainable mitigation of HABs in freshwater bodies while maintaining minimal ecological impact and cost. Accordingly, we are developing a novel protocol for HABs remediation, including identifying, assessing, and predicting HABs based on deep learning models relying on data from various sources (in-situ, drones and satellites). For the first time ever, we will be able to predict when and where HABs’ “hot spots” develop. In addition, we use a proprietary H2O2-based formulation that leaves no trace in the water. This modified-release formula induces oxidative stress that activates a selective biological chain reaction within the toxic cells and causes the HABs to undergo a “collective suicide” (similar to apoptosis in eukaryotes). Our multi-parallel approach will enable a “surgical treatment” of waterbodies, regardless of their size or shape, using a very low H2O2 dose and thus eliminating the risks to other organisms.
Biomass assessment is based mostly on remote sensing and AI capabilities. Analysis of water samples is used to verify and calibrate remote sensing using Deep Learning features. Water samples, from different depths and locations, provides information regarding phytoplankton identification (using microscopy and pyrosequencing), the levels of photosynthetic pigments (using FlowCam technology) and HAB’s toxins’ analysis.
Our current AI algorithm operates with drone images, providing high-resolution pictures (4 cm2/pixel) and reliable results. To efficiently treat large waterbodies, further training of the algorithm is needed on satellite imagery, which provides lower resolution imagery (up to 350 m2/pixel). For that case, drone data will be used to train the deep learning models with satellite images, thereby achieving inference capabilities of HAB’s spread in any waterbody no matter its size or shape.
Early identification requires an accurate assessment of HABs’ biomass while considering additional factors- the already known impact of abiotic conditions on HABs development and an assessment of interspecies interactions. Waterbodies accommodate several different algae species, only some are toxic, and the interactions between them have critical effects on HABs development. Yet, this crucial knowledge is lacking, and further research is needed.
Abiotic conditions will be measured using in-situ probes. Interspecies interactions will be assessed via experiments conducted in enclosed simulated aquatic environments (mesocosms) and ponds. The AI algorithm will be expanded using the collected data, added to the algorithm training set. Further development of the algorithm will also be necessary. The improved algorithm will enable early HABs identification
To generate reliable short-term predictions, data about biomass assessment and HABs early identification is necessary. In addition, historical data on the treated waterbodies must be accounted for by the AI algorithm. This data will be procured through the Copernicus Space Satellite Component and the incorporated BGWT’s cloud database.
The integrated data will enable BGWT to model HABs spread over time. We will formulate Convolution Neural Network Deep Learning models for short-term HABs development prediction. This will allow us to warn the public at an early stage and to initiate appropriate treatments. To carry out its task successfully this algorithm will use the quantification of changes in biomass (Feature 1.1), the conclusions about the current stage of HABs development (Feature 1.2) and the historical data.
We are currently using floating Sodium Percarbonate (SPC) encapsulation, releasing H2O2, to treat HABs. To meet EU standards and achieve a more robust cell-death of HABs, it is necessary to apply a compound that also has no environmental footprint with a longer duration of H2O2 leaching, thereby inducing cell death. Thus, we chose calcium peroxide (CP), a food-grade (i.e. safe for human consumption) material that releases H2O2 much slower than SPC
Optimization of the CP-based formula will be undertaken. The effect of CP on H2O2 leaching rate and the formulation effects on HABs mitigation will be tested in constructed mesocosms and ponds. Monitoring H2O2 levels is critical for effective treatment while minimizing environmental impact. A chronoamperometric technique on a printed electrode (graphite, reference Ag/AgCl, and Pt counter electrodes) is being developed for this purpose. A potentiostat will measure the reductive H2O2 current.
Lake GuardTM Oxy is based on 98% (w/w) Sodium Percarbonate (“SPC”) with 2% (w/w) addition of a proprietary, nanocoated inert, biodegradable polymer. Our raw material supplier in the US is Solvay and the active ingredient used is, in fact, Solvay’s SPC, which is extensively used around the US under the trade name – PAK27.
As to the ecological consequences of SPC, the product was recently reviewed by the US National Organic Standards Board (according to the Organic Foods Production Act) that concluded that “SPC is one of the most desirable compounds to use as a cyanobacterial algaecide in food-fish ponds due to its environmentally-safe nature i.e., no toxic residuals are formed from the breakdown of SPC”.
Below please find the full paragraph with slight, shortening, changes:
“SPC rapidly dissociates into hydrogen peroxide and sodium carbonate. Hydrogen peroxide is the active component. Hydrogen-peroxide-based products work by exogenously oxidizing organic matter. However, because hydrogen peroxide is a natural byproduct of cell metabolism, present at a low level in all living cells, and secreted by some bacteria, living organisms are naturally subject to oxidative damage from both exogenous and endogenous hydrogen peroxide (Apel and Hirt, 2004). In their defence, living cells are naturally protected from endogenous hydrogen peroxide by an antioxidant protection system composed of three enzymes: superoxide dismutase, catalase and glutathione peroxidase. Moreover, two vitamins, vitamin C and vitamin E also serve as intracellular antioxidant scavengers (MDEP, 2010). Expression and utilization of these enzymes and vitamins varies between species. As a result, some species are better protected from oxidative damage than others. Thus, SPC may differentially kill some algal, protist or bacterial species while permitting the survival or even the enhancement of others (White et al., 1998; Schrader et al., 1998; Matthijs et al., 2012). SPC is predominantly used for disinfection and water treatment. It has become an important tool in the selective removal of toxic or nuisance cyanobacteria, mold and scum in bodies of water and recently rice paddies. Cyanobacteria are prokaryotic, and lacking organelles for photosynthesis appear to be more sensitive to hydrogen peroxide than other species of phytoplankton, such as green algae or diatoms (Drabkova et al., 2007). SPC completely inhibits the growth of Oscillatoria cf. chalybea, while it does not affect the green algae, S. capricornutum (Schrader et al., 1998). O. cf. chalybea produces the musty, off-flavor compound 2-methylisoborneol, which can taint the flesh of channel catfish and render them unmarketable. SPC is one of the most desirable compounds to use as a cyanobacterial algaecide in food-fish ponds due to its environmentally-safe nature i.e., no toxic residuals are formed from the breakdown of SPC. In its use for the purpose of disinfecting catfish eggs, SPC was found to be efficacious, and contributed to the beneficial increase of dissolved oxygen in the hatching trough (Small, 2009). The breakdown products of SPC are water, oxygen and sodium carbonate, none of which concentrate or persist in the environment or represent environmental hazards.”
Several solutions to remediate HABs exist today. Mechanical harvesting methods, such as membrane filtration and flocculation (using particles of various materials to create aggregations of cells, which sink down, some of which slowly die), make room for new cells to grow from remaining cells. Sonication utilizes sound waves to burst gas vesicles inside the cells which then sink to the sediment. Its major disadvantage lies in its limited efficacy over surface areas that are larger than a few square meters. Flocculation and sonication carry a risk of toxins leaching into underground water. Various algaecides have been used, but they all carry toxicity risks, especially on large scales. A prevalent private case is H2O2 treatment, considered a safer material. Yet, when applied as raw material over the entire waterbody, it has severe implications on aquatic life. Usage of nano air bubbles (Aeration) is another possible solution. Yet, this treatment cannot be scaled for large waterbodies.
Toxic cyanobacterial blooms are incredibly harmful to humans, mammals and birds and completely disrupt the aquatic ecosystem to the point it becomes a ‘dead aquatic zone’ as is the case in Buckeye Lake.
More so, an increasing number of publications show that the risk to human health extends to nearby communities, due to the airborne nature of the cyanotoxins (Schaefer., et al 2020; Facciponte, et al., 2018; Dominic et al., 2018; Stommel et al., 2013; Lorraine, et al., 2010; Schaefer et al., 2000). Harmful algal blooms have a devastating impact on the local economy: from tourism and recreational activities to devaluation of property around the lake. As an example, the latter point was emphasized in a study about the effects of harmful algal blooms on the economy of the Buckeye Lake area that lost an average of $100 Million in property value depreciation over a 6-year period
(Wolf et al., 2017; Wolf & Klaiber, 2017).
BlueGreen’s products have been successfully tested in thousands of commercial applications in waterbodies of sizes ranging from 1 acre to 3,000 acres with tremendous success.
In a business such as ours – results are everything. One can theorize all day long about the who’s and the why’s but if you can’t deliver a promise of clean water – no one will ever buy your product again. In our 3 years of commercial experience – we’ve had (I would conservatively add ‘nearly’) 100% recurring customers! Anyone that manages a lake or a reservoir, that fully appreciates the damage cyanobacterial blooms cause to the aquatic environment, their severe health implications and the economic calamity they bring with them – will not trade a healthy clean lake, which we factually deliver, with any alternative.
For the record, waterways and waterbodies are some of the most heavily regulated places all over the world. We take this very seriously and have secured approvals and certifications from many regulatory agencies. Our products are certified for use in raw drinking water by the NSF/ANSI/CAN-60 mark and by the US EPA. Lake Guard™ Oxy is the first and only algaecide approved for use by the Israeli Ministry of Health. It is the first and only algaecide to be approved by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (“FWC”) for use in natural lakes.
For specific examples please see our many successes stories
The constant oxidative stress that the cyanobacterial cells are being exposed to (initiated by the time-releasing formulation) triggers this unique Program Cell Death phenomenon among the cyanobacterial population, that is further multiplied by the cyanobacteria’s own signaling that affects (only) the rest of the naïve population within the whole waterbody.
The technology utilizes a chemical product that exerts low-grade oxidative stress on the cyanobacterial population, which, in turn, induces a secondary biological suicidal signaling cascade within the cyanobacteria naïve population.
The Lake Guard® Oxy is 98% (w/w) sodium percarbonate granules that releases hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) as its active ingredient, and 2% (w/w) of an inert, food-grade, biodegradable encapsulating agent.
The Lake Guard® nano-coating formulation allows the product to float and time-release its active ingredient. The floating property of the granular product makes the application treatment easy, safe, and quick. It will allow the natural movement of wind and currents to disperse the product across the water body.
The floating granules will NOT be wasted away by interacting with the sediment, but localize to the surface of the water, closest to the photic zone, with the highest density of cyanobacterial cells, therefore, requiring very low treatment doses compared to non-floating algaecides.
The time-release mechanism of the technology constricts the H2O2 concentration in the water to safe levels for aquatic organisms, but at the same time is critical for exerting prolonged, low-grade oxidative stress on cyanobacterial cells to induce the biological Programmed Cell Death (“PCD”) signal within the cyanobacterial population, leading to the collapse of a very large fraction of the population, normally over 95%. This will achieve a longer lasting treatment with significantly lower doses than non-floating products.
Combined, the floating and time-releasing characteristics of the Lake Guard® Oxy confer the most effective targeted treatment against cyanobacteria with low dose regimen. This technology is in stark contrast to existing methodologies that require large quantities of algaecides, are hazardous and labor-intensive, and involve high-cost full-lake shock treatment.
If properly applied as a preventive treatment before the development of a massive toxic bloom, a single treatment can mitigate/eliminate the bloom for the entire season.
- Chippewa Lake, Medina County, Ohio (330 acres, USA) was treated with the Lake Guard® Blue in August 2019 and the lake has been bloom-free since then.
- Kazan recreational lake, (10 acres, Russia) was treated once with the Lake Guard® Blue in October 2018 and the lake has been bloom-free since then.
- Roodeplaat Dam (1,100 acres, South Africa) was treated during the last week of February 2020 with the Lake Guard® Oxy and the lake has been bloom-free since then.
- Nanhu Lake (3,000 acres, China), was treated once with the Lake Guard® Blue in June 2020 and the lake has been bloom-free since then.
The aim of the treatment is to reduce the cyanobacterial cell count below a threshold of ~10,000 cells/mL, where other beneficial algae can take over the ecological niche and outcompete the cyanobacteria in the struggle for nutrients. Special care/notice should be given to “refugee sites” where a dense population may occur and serve as an inoculum for recovering the toxic population.
The main innovation is the floating of the H2O2 releasing agent at the water surface where the cyanobacteria scums float, and its wind driven migration with the floating cyanobacteria colonies. BlueGreen’s experience shows that a very low level of H2O2 is sufficient, due to the induction of genetically programmed cell death in the cyanobacterial population. Thus, the environmental impact is minimal (apart from the removal of the toxic bloom, enabling the “good” green algae to outcompete the remaining toxic cyanobacteria). None of this is possible with other currently used techniques where huge concentrations of algaecides are applied, essentially replacing the cyanobacterial toxins with others such as copper salt or very high H2O2 levels that severely affect the ecology of the lakes (see below).
The Lake Guard® Oxy is the only technology that guarantees success: we pledge to provide a safe water body with cyanotoxin levels below hazardous levels:
- for microcystins: <6 μg/L
- for cylindrospermopsin <5 μg/L
This is in accordance with Ohio EPA recommendations; Open references here, here, and here).
The Lake Guard® Oxy is based on a potent algaecide (PAK 27) that has been on the market for almost three decades, with a good track record for safety to the environment (see section 5 for more information). PAK-27 prescribes high dose rates (of ~300 lb/acres) and is not scalable to large waterbodies as it is operationally challenging. PAK-27 requires massive quantities of the active ingredient, is operationally hazardous and labor-intensive. Lastly, it involves high-cost full-lake shock treatment that harms the benthic zone environment in the lake.
More importantly, this non-floating form, as well as similar agents that consist of copper sulfate and coagulants such as aluminum sulfate, failed to demonstrate measurable results in lakes that are bigger than a few dozens of acres in size, if at all.
The floating and time-releasing characteristics of the Lake Guard® Oxy confer the most effective targeted treatment against cyanobacteria with low dose regimen (<15 lb/acre). The Lake Guard® technology is scalable to large water bodies.
Specifically, we are not aware of any technologies currently on the market that pledge to return a waterbody to below hazardous cyanotoxin levels (as specified above) as BlueGreen does.
The proprietary formulation of Lake Guard® Oxy acts on cyanobacteria to remediate existing HABs or prevent HAB formation. The main objective of the Lake Guard® technology is to restore the ecology and biodiversity of the aquatic ecosystem to its former healthier balance.
The ready-to-use granular product is based on sodium percarbonate that releases H2O2 when in contact with water. The product is encapsulated with an inert, food-grade, and biodegradable coating that leaves no trace in the water. Due to the hydrophobic nature of the coating agent, the granular product floats on the water surface, homing-in on cyanobacterial aggregates as they drift with the wind on the surface. The nano-encapsulation allows for the time-release of the active ingredient that maintains a low-grade oxidative stress in the water, safe to other organisms, but sustained long enough to induce the biological Programmed Cell Death (PCD) signal within the cyanobacterial population, leading to their collapse.
The Lake Guard® Technology is not intended to reduce the level of nutrients. However, the treatment removes toxic cyanobacteria and leads to an increase of biodiversity of the beneficial algae in the water. The eukaryotic phytoplankton outcompete and prevent the cyanobacteria from resurgence. The growing algae population removes nutrients (by consumption) such as organic- nitrates and phosphates from the water, thereby further competing against cyanobacterial resurgence.
The Lake Guard® Oxy is operational and approved for use by U.S. EPA, certified for the treatment of raw drinking water by NSF/ANSI/CAN-60 standard, and registered in the State of Ohio. The product is sold around the U.S. to many municipalities, state agencies, and individual stakeholders.
The Lake Guard® technology was successfully implemented in thousands of waterbodies around the world in many different geological structures, representing highly diverse abiotic and biotic conditions, including in waterbodies that are similar to the Lake Erie basin, such as the C-44 canal/Lake Okeechobee and Lake Minneola projects in Florida, Roodeplaat Dam in South Africa, and Nanhu Lake in China. Please refer to section 7a for more details.
The Lake Guard® Technology has been successfully implemented in Chippewa Lake, located in the Lake Erie basin. Please refer to sections 3b and 6a for more details. BlueGreen has many satisfied customers in the state of Ohio.
BlueGreen has an ongoing contractual agreement with the State of Florida as a result of a competitive procurement process with St. John River Water Municipal as well as the Department of Environmental Protection. And the Lake Guard® Oxy is the first and only algaecide approved by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission for use in Florida waterways.
The Lake Guard® Oxy technology requires no special equipment or infrastructure for application; a low-dose regimen, complemented with local, targeted application areas and a simple application protocol – makes it the only viable and economical option for selective remediation and further prevention of cyanobacteria in large lakes. The ready-to-use product is packaged in sealed 50 lb bags or 1,000 lb super sacks, stored under dry conditions.
The products can be broadcasted manually from the shore, a moving boat, or plane, up-wind and up-current, allowing the natural movement of the water to disperse it across the wate body. See 4c, below.
Application of the Lake Guard® Oxy over a 250-acre water body takes minutes using a motorboat (at doses as low as 0.5-15 lb/acre, depending on the severity of the bloom). BlueGreen offers to keep monitoring the lake in order to address any resurgence as quickly and efficiently as possible. No maintenance is required other than storage of the algaecide.
Federal, state and local agencies in charge of water quality, water management, environmental protection, natural resources, parks and recreation divisions, national parks, and local/regional tourism and recreational stakeholders, including private owners of waterbodies of various sizes.
The ready-to-use Lake Guard® Oxy is applied directly onto the water surface, and can be broadcasted manually from the shoreline, a pier, a moving boat, or plane, up-wind and up-current, allowing the natural movement of the water to disperse it across the waterbody. For example, a 250-acre waterbody requires minutes of application time using a motorboat, and a 2,000-acre lake requires less than two hours of application time using a motorboat. Dose rates range between 0.5-15 lb/acre, depending on the severity of the bloom condition.
There is no lead time if the product is purchased in advance and stored nearby. A treatment of a 250-1000 acre waterbody takes less than one hour. There are no restrictions during the treatment application, recreational activities in the water body can continue without interruption.
BlueGreen can provide turn-key projects and handle emergency situations (as was done during October 2020 in Lake Okeechobee, Florida). The team was on the ground and operational within 48 hours after receiving a call from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.
In turn-key projects, BlueGreen pledges to reduce cyanotoxins in the waterbody to below harmful levels. The time to achieve that can take several days to weeks. Recovery time depends on multiple parameters, namely cyanobacterial initial cell-count, and other biotic and abiotic conditions in the water.
Once treatment goals are achieved, BlueGreen can provide a maintenance service contract to maintain healthy conditions in the lake and prevent the resurgence of the cyanobacteria.
The Lake Guard® Oxy is approved by the U.S. EPA, certified by the NSF/ANSI/CAN-60 standard for treatment in drinking water and registered in the state of Ohio as well as in many other states.
The Lake Guard® Oxy is the first and only algaecide approved by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission for use in Florida waterways.
BlueGreen subcontracts local licensed applicators for the purpose of treatment applications.
Additional permits might be required for the treatment of specific lakes, through the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the Ohio EPA, or other local agencies.
The Lake Guard® Oxy’s label was approved after a long and scrutinizing procedure by the U.S. EPA, the NSF/ANSI/CAN-60 standard, and during the registration process in different states, including in the State of Ohio. The Lake Guard® Oxy is safe for use as long as it is used in accordance with its approved U.S. EPA Label (see Appendix A).
Although the U.S. EPA approved label deems a dose rate as high as 294 lb/acre of Lake Guard® Oxy as safe in 48 hours intervals, BlueGreen’s dose rates do not exceed 15 lb/acre, which is only a small fraction of the approved level.
The Lake Guard® Oxy is based on 98% (w/w) Sodium Percarbonate (“SPC”) granules, nanocoated with 2% (w/w) proprietary, inert, and biodegradable polymer. BlueGreen’s supplier of the raw material in the U.S. is Solvay. The raw material is Solvay’s SPC product, which is extensively used around the U.S. under the trade name PAK-27. The manufacturing facility of the Lake Guard® Oxy in the U.S., an NSF/ANSI/CAN-60 standard certified and a U.S. EPA registered facility, is based in Cleveland, Ohio.
The SPC product was recently reviewed by the US National Organic Standards Board (according to the Organic Foods Production Act), to address the ecological consequences of SPC, and concluded that “SPC is one of the most desirable compounds to use as a cyanobacterial algaecide in food-fish ponds due to its environmentally-safe nature i.e., no toxic residuals are formed from the breakdown of SPC”.
Please find below the complete paragraph, edited slightly to shorten its length:
“SPC rapidly dissociates into hydrogen peroxide and sodium carbonate. Hydrogen peroxide is the active component. Hydrogen-peroxide-based products work by exogenously oxidizing organic matter. However, because hydrogen peroxide is a natural byproduct of cell metabolism, present at a low level in all living cells, and secreted by some bacteria, living organisms are naturally subject to oxidative damage from both exogenous and endogenous hydrogen peroxide (Apel and Hirt, 2004). In their defense, living cells are naturally protected from endogenous hydrogen peroxide by an antioxidant protection system composed of three enzymes: superoxide dismutase, catalase and glutathione peroxidase. Moreover two vitamins, vitamin C and vitamin E also serve as intracellular antioxidant scavengers (MDEP, 2010). Expression and utilization of these enzymes and vitamins varies between species. As a result, some species are better protected from oxidative damage than others. Thus, SPC may differentially kill some algal, protist or bacterial species while permitting the survival or even the enhancement of others (White et al., 1998; Schrader et al., 1998; Matthijs et al., 2012). SPC is predominantly used for disinfection and water treatment. It has become an important tool in the selective removal of toxic or nuisance cyanobacteria, mold and scum in bodies of water and recently rice paddies. Cyanobacteria are prokaryotic, and lacking organelles for photosynthesis appear to be more sensitive to hydrogen peroxide than other species of phytoplankton, such as green algae or diatoms (Drabkova et al., 2007). SPC completely inhibits the growth of Oscillatoria cf. chalybea, while it does not affect the green algae, S. capricornutum (Schrader et al., 1998). O. cf. chalybea produces the musty, off-flavor compound 2-methylisoborneol, which can taint the flesh of channel catfish and render them unmarketable. SPC is one of the most desirable compounds to use as a cyanobacterial algaecide in food-fish ponds due to its environmentally-safe nature i.e., no toxic residuals are formed from the breakdown of SPC. In its use for the purpose of disinfecting catfish eggs, SPC was found to be efficacious, and contributed to the beneficial increase of dissolved oxygen in the hatching trough (Small, 2009). The breakdown products of SPC are water, oxygen and sodium carbonate, none of which concentrate or persist in the environment or represent environmental hazards.”
The review above is in full agreement with a similar report done in 2017 by the Canadian Pest Management Regulatory Agency (see here for the pdf format).
Mostly relief for overcoming a long and threatening condition that does not only affect water use but is a major health issue for the adjacent communities.
A publication by the Ohio EPA (Butler et al., 2020) discussed the adverse effects of exposure to cyanotoxins, including the inhaling of airborne cyanotoxins by the population that recreate in or reside next to infected lakes. Numerous studies support such health concerns [Cheng et al., (2007) Facciponte et al., (2018); Schaefer et al., (2020); Hu et al., (2020)].
The impact of cyanobacterial blooms also have a devastating effect on property values: a recent study emphasized the effects of harmful algal blooms on the economy of the Buckeye Lake area (Ohio) that lost an average of $100 Million in property value depreciation over a 6-year period (Wolf et al., 2017; Wolf & Klaiber, 2017).
To quote Mrs. Laura Baldwin from the Medina County, from her response to The Medina Gazette reporter (see full article here) asking about BlueGreen’s treatment of Chippewa Lake last year:
“Lifelong Chippewa Lake resident Laura Baldwin said she and friends around town have been very impressed with the results. “Everyone’s been talking about not having the algae warnings anymore,” she said while watching loved ones swim. “I can’t remember the last time we’ve gone so long without a warning. It’s nice to have one less thing to worry about with so many other things going on and to have somewhere the kids can just be safe and have fun in the water.”
Doing nothing is far more problematic. BlueGreen can assist in addressing the community’s inquiries as we currently do for Lake Minneola (Lake County, Florida) where we have a dedicated hotline for concerned citizens.
Here is another testimony from ‘Mei Carmel’ one of the biggest water providers in northern Israel:
From time to time, BlueGreen faces cynicism from skeptical reporters and citizens, that over time turns into trust and respect as we take the following measures:
- We do good: we keep the lake clean!
- We react to any cyanobacterial resurgence within days of notice, and mitigate it quickly.
- Our treatment in the lake does not affect the livelihood or recreational activities of the lake’s stakeholders, and our monitoring schedule and treatment applications usually go unnoticed.
- We hold a public meeting for stakeholders before the treatment starts, where we explain the technology and manage expectations. We try to address all questions and concerns. We find that the promise of a clean lake during the course of the project is more than enough to satisfy 99% of the potential negative perception.
- We emphasize our expertise and showcase our vast experience.
- We generate detailed reports on a weekly and monthly basis. The reports are reviewed by Water Management experts before becoming available to the public. The reports include all raw data from BlueGreen’s monitoring efforts and from certified and independent laboratories. We sample water before and after each treatment, and regularly on a weekly basis. The reports include: (i) water chemistry parameters, (ii) phytoplankton enumeration, (iii) cyanotoxin levels analyses, (iv) in-situ field measurements, (v) remote sensing and visual inspection, and (vi) detailed analyses of all data.
- We answer all questions that reach our hotline within days. We coordinate our response with the public relations and professional teams of the relevant County or District.
- We welcome engaging curious residents and stakeholders in our efforts to restore a healthy balance in the aquatic ecosystem. We are passionate about our work, and are more than happy to share information with others.
Yes, the technology has been validated in many places all around the globe with different geological variations. It was successfully implemented in many waterbodies of various sizes, representing various biotic and abiotic conditions around the world. Examples include:
- USA, Lake Minneola, Florida, 1,890 acres. An intervention treatment (see 8b, below) was applied in mid-November and mid-December, 2020. Currently, the toxic cyanobacterial cell count remains very low post-treatment, and cyanotoxin levels are below method detection limits. No follow up treatments are required at this time. Weekly and monthly reports are routinely reviewed and approved by both the St. Johns River Water Management District and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Detailed monthly reports can be sent upon request.
- USA, St. Lucie Canal (C-44), Florida, a 21-mile canal connecting Lake Okeechobee with the St. Lucie River to the east. This emergency deployment project included intensive monitoring and treatment with the Lake Guard® Oxy of waters being discharged from Lake Okeechobee and running along the 21-mile stretch of the St. Lucie Canal. The 3-week project started on Oct 14, 2020 and was concluded on Nov. 3, 2020. At the time of writing of this document, the canal is essentially toxin-free and the cyanobacteria cell count is well below the threshold level of 20,000 cells/ mL as recommended by the US EPA. Final report can be sent upon request; see Gov. DeSantis’ announcement here.
- China, Nanhu Lake, Yueyang, 3,000 acres. The heavily contaminated lake was treated on June 6, 2020. The satellite images below show the mitigation of the harmful algal bloom within 24 hours and after 5 days post treatment. The lake has been bloom-free since then. Final report can be sent upon request.
Nanhu Lake. Processed satellite images with the Lake Guard™ View show chlorophyll-a intensity levels as a heatmap scaled from undetectable/low levels (cold colors, blue), to high levels (warm colors, red). The top figure shows high levels of cyanobacterial intensity prior to the initial treatment on June, 6, 2020. The middle figure shows significant reduction of cyanobacterial intensity within only 24 hours from the first treatment application. The bottom figure, taken 5 days post-treatment, shows that the lake conditions continued to improve days after the treatment.
- South Africa, Roodeplaat Dam, 1,100 acres. See satellite images below. This project was a demonstration treatment that lowered the cyanobacterial cell count by over 99%. The dam has been bloom-free since then.
True color satellite imagery of Roodeplaat Dam before and after treatment, taken from Sentinel-2. Left panel, Feb. 26, 2020, before treatment. Right panel, Mar. 07, 2020, post-treatment. Bright blue-green colors are the visible appearance of cyanobacteria scum on the water surface, left panel; white color within the polygon represents patches of clouds. Data was generated by SkyWatch (www.skywatch.com).
Heatmaps representation of chlorophyll-a relative intensity in Roodeplaat Dam. The heatmap images are processed satellite imagery through the Lake Guard View™ algorithm (A) December 2, 2020, (B) December 23, 2019, (C) December 28, 2018, (D) December 18, 2017, (E) December 3, 2016, (F) December 3, 2015. For the first time in (at least) 5 years – Roodeplaat Dam is not infested with cyanobacteria. The green color in the heatmap represents water hyacinth that grow in the water.
The Lake Guard® technology is based upon market approved algaecides with decades of track records for efficacy and safety.
- The technology is at NOAA Readiness Level of TRL 9 (System Fully Operationally Integrated).
- The product is U.S. EPA approved, and registered in the state of Ohio (please provide link and OH EPA approved number).
- The product is NSF/ANSI/CAN-60 standard certified for treatment in drinking water.
- The product is produced in Cleveland OH according to ISO standards.
- Proof of Concept (PoC) validations and mesocosm trials were done years ago.
The technology is at NOAA Readiness Level of TRL 9 (System Fully Operationally Integrated). Proof of Concept (PoC) validations and mesocosm trials were done years ago.
- USA, St. Lucie Canal (C-44), Florida, a 21-mile canal;
- USA, Lake Mineola, Florida, 1,890 acres;
- China, Nanhu Lake, Yueyang, 3,000 acres;
- South Africa, Roodeplaat Dam, 1,100 acres;
Full reports of these applications can be provided upon request.
Transparency is the long-term policy of the company. All the information regarding prior treatments is available upon request, including links, case studies, and official reports to government agencies. Most of this information is publicly available.
We will be happy to provide references from regulatory and government agencies from around the world:
- Sea of Galilee, Kinneret Limnological Laboratory, Israel Oceanographic & Limnological Research: Prof. Assaf Sukenik. Migdal 14950, Israel. Office: +972-04-9008-233. Mobile: +972-50-5621228. fax: +972-4-6724627.
- ‘Mekorot’ the Israeli National Water Company: Dr. Gadi Zeira, Chief Biologist. Phone: 972-4-6500690, Cell: 972-50-5751264. E-mail: [email protected]
- South Africa: Ms. Debbie Muir Pr. Sci.Nat. (125256). Specialist Programme Manager. Department of Environmental Affairs: Natural Resource Management Programmes. 14 Loop street, Cape Town. 8301 OR. P/Bag X4390, Cape Town. 8000.
- Ohio: Dr. Eugene C. Braig IV Program Director, Aquatic Ecosystems. Ohio State University Extension School of Environment and Natural Resources. 379a Kottman Hall | 2021 Coffey Rd. Columbus, OH 43210. +1 614-292-3823 Office | +1 614-292-7432 Fax
[email protected] osu.edu
- Florida: Dr. Dean R. Dobberfuhl, Chief Bureau of Water Resources. St. Johns River Water Management District. P.O. Box 1429 | Palatka, FL 32178-1429. Office: (386) 329-4461 | Cell: (386) 227-0643. Email: [email protected]. Website: www.sjrwmd.com
The technology takes advantage of the relatively high sensitivity of cyanobacteria to oxidative stress. It involves the encapsulation of a potent algaecide (H2O2-based) with a hydrophobic coating agent that allows the granular product to float and time-release its active ingredient. The Lake Guard® Oxy is comprised of 98% (w/w) sodium percarbonate (“SPC”) that releases hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) as its active ingredient, and 2% (w/w) of an inert, biodegradable encapsulating agent. Hydrogen peroxide naturally decomposes very quickly into water and oxygen, with no environmental footprint.
Depending on the size of the waterbody, the ready-to-use Lake Guard® Oxy can be administered manually from the shore, a boat, or a plane. Unlike existing methodologies, the Lake Guard® technology is scalable to large waterbodies, from thousands to tens of thousands of acres in size.
The main beneficiaries comprise of (a) those dependent on the lakes as a source of drinking water, (b) health authorities, (c) tourism industry, (d) local recreational activities, and (e) water management authorities.