Mount Gambier City Council enables ultrasonic technology to remove harmful blue and green algae in city valleys.

This follows months of testing on the lake, which is a popular spot for waterskiing and recreational boating activities.

Two floats were installed on Valley Lake in January, one to monitor water quality and the other to emit ultrasound.

The council worked with a water testing company to collect physical samples and measure water quality at various depths.

Testing revealed the presence of harmful blue algae, green algae and cyanobacteria.

Rope swing and lake photo at the forefront
This algae can make Valley Lake users sick if left unchecked.(ABC South East SA: Selina Green)

The council’s Environmental Sustainability Officer Aaron Izzard said the algae would be controlled by ultrasonic technology.

“[The float] Sends an ultrasonic signal into the water that targets only algae and bacteria,

“[It] Destroy the components within those organisms that allow them to float. So they sink to the bottom and die. ”

Ultrasound tests were performed in cool weather.

The council is currently waiting to see how effective this technology is during the summer months when algae are more prevalent, and will consider using it long-term.

Ultrasonic floats will be operational in September and will continue through the fall.

algae can cause disease

Izzard says it’s important to control algae levels.

“There are many types of algae, most of which are benign, but some of which are harmful to humans,” he said.

“There are certain species of algae that can make people sick—not very sick, but a little nauseating.

“We want the lake to be usable for water recreation, so ideally we want to control the harmful algae and bacteria there.”

Arial view of lake with boat and jet ski.
Test and ultrasonic floats are clearly marked and will not affect recreational lake users. (ABC South East SA: Selina Green)

The technology specifically targets algae and won’t harm other aquatic life, Izzard said.

“It has been tested and not found to be harmful to other types of aquatic life. It only targets bacteria and algae.

“Does not affect insects, animals or fish of any kind.”


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