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17 June 2019

What effect does algae have on water?

Wastewater contains high levels of nitrogen and phosphorus from human waste, food, soaps, and detergents. These compounds promote the growth of algae which can be harmful to human health and the surrounding environment.

When does algae grow?

Wastewater is sent to treatment plants where it undergoes processes to minimize these pollutants. Growths will feed on these compounds and bloom quickly in slow-moving/stagnant water. Algae must be removed from treatment water before discharging it back into the environment.

Why is algae harmful?

Algal blooms occur from overgrowth in algae. There are different types of algal blooms that are harmful to animals, humans and the ecological system. The blue-green variant will rapidly grow on water that contains high levels of phosphorus. This nutrient is commonly found in wastewater in the form of phosphates from organic waste. When blue-green algae decompose they release foul odors which can be unpleasant for employees or visitors at water treatment plants. Other issues that occur from algal blooms include:

  • Environmental impact and dead zones - high algae growth in water can cause dead zones. These are areas that can no longer support aquatic life. This happens as a result of lower oxygen levels and neurotoxins being released into the water.
  • Health hazards for humans and animals - the toxins released by algal blooms are not safe for human or animal consumption and can cause severe illness.

Algae treatment solutions

It is important for algae to be removed from wastewater. NCH Facilities offers professional and effective solutions for this. Xodor is ideal for water quality improvement as it removes green algae by decomposing it and transforming it into carbon dioxide and water whilst eliminating unpleasant odors.

Learn more about NCH’s treatment program Xodor.

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