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Cyanobacteria breakthrough: Effects of Limnothrix redekei contamination in an artificial bank filtration on a regional water supply
journal contributionposted on 26.09.2018, 00:00 by Adam RoseAdam Rose, Larelle FabbroLarelle Fabbro, Susan KinnearSusan Kinnear
© 2018 Mitigation of cyanobacterial or “blue-green algal” blooms is a challenging task for water managers across Australia. In the present study, a regional drinking water source (located in Central Queensland) was studied to identify the potential risks posed by cyanobacteria. Data were collected from the drinking water source (a lagoon) as well as the drinking water supply infrastructure, at monthly intervals between September 2012 and December 2014. In March 2013 there was an extreme rainfall event where floodwaters infiltrated the water supply without passing through bank filtration. The floodwaters also compromised the bank filtration via erosion. The pump well and bank filtration system were subsequently upgraded/maintained in May 2013. Results showed that following the extreme event and infrastructure upgrade, two distinct Limnothrix redekei blooms microscopically identified, were detected in the drinking water supply chain. Further investigations indicated that the species was also present in the pump well infrastructure, a dark environment, growing on the surface of the newly installed pump well cement pipe. After observing the occurrence and habitat niche of this species during the present study, a suggestion was made to minimise cyanobacterial contamination and proliferation within the water supply chain infrastructure. The preliminary proposal is to use clean sand on the sub-surface layer of the bank filtration, complemented with biologically active sand as a surface cap. Furthermore, the culturing techniques reported in this study can potentially be used to optimize assessment for Limnothrix redekei populations surrounding water extraction points.