Surface water Digital Solutions Europe

Predicting the algal bloom boom: LG Sonic bolsters tech portfolio

Thursday, 11 June 2020

Addressing the global algae challenge

Dutch water technology company LG Sonic has added a new addition to its portfolio to help detect algae blooms in water lakes and reservoirs.

Called the Monitoring Buoy, the solution combines real-time water quality monitoring and cloud software to store and analyse water quality data.

The development takes the proven water quality monitoring system from its MPC-Buoy algae control solution and packages it up as an offering without the ultrasonic treatment.

Lisa Brand, chief technology officer (CTO) of LG Sonic told Aquatech Online: “Algae blooms are increasing globally so fast now, it’s almost everywhere on the agenda. It’s not a local problem.”

She added: “There is increasing awareness for water quality regulators and drinking water treatment plants that manual sampling is not efficient enough to get a better understanding of the potential algae problems in lakes. There is a real need for online and real-time water quality monitoring.”

How does it work?

The Monitoring Buoy is a separate product to the company’s MPC Buoy. However, if algae is predicted and the site wishes to upgrade to a treatment solution, then ultrasonic transmitters can be added.

The monitoring buoy continuously monitors water quality in real-time and delivers the data via radio, GPRS, or 3G to web-based software.

A complete overview of the water quality of one or multiple water bodies is then generated, with the ability to set alerts for changing water conditions.

The system collects the following parameters: Chlorophyll α (green algae), Phycocyanin (blue-green algae), pH, Turbidity, Dissolved Oxygen, and temperature, with a possibility to include additional sensors.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is then used to predict algal blooms based on water quality data automatically.

"Monitoring is vital to determine which solution is needed,” added Brand. “Not all lakes with algae problems are facing these challenges because of the same reasons.”

Predicting future algal blooms

Brand said LG Sonic is experiencing interest from all over the world, including Australia, Europe, Latin America and the US.

The company has sold over 300 of its MPC Buoys, after the initial test in the US with water utility, American Water, and is now active in 96 countries.

“Some of the drinking water utilities, or lake managers we speak to are already looking at upgrading their monitoring based to predict future algae blooms, even though there are no problems yet,” she said.

LG Sonic’s MPC-Nanobubble technology won the ‘Water Supply’ category in the Aquatech Innovation Awards, with the jury calling it a “very elegant solution”.

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