July 2024

Author

rick_resized

Rick Clark

Director of Environmental and Regulatory Affairs, joined WaterIQ February 2023. Clark brings more that 25 years of experience in the environmental industry, helping to solve the most challenging environmental problems.

PulsarSplash

Cleaning the Pulsar

This a vital requirement for optimal performance. Clean each unit once a month for fresh water and a minimum of every two weeks in saline environments. Failure to clean is the most common reason why residents might see an uptick in algae. You can find instructions here.

Industry Research at Lake Okeechobee

August of 2022, Dr. Dail Laughinghouse, studied the effects of WaterIQ’s Pulsar device on non-target species. Many have often wondered how safe our devices are for the environment and if these devices caused harm or stress to other organisms present. Laughinghouse and his team focused his mesocosm studies on Lake Okeechobee to determine the device’s effect on phytoplankton, zooplankton, bacterioplankton and fish. The mesocosm with the ultrasound unit showed a 65% reduction of Blue-Green Algae (BGA), while the mesocosm without the ultrasound unit showed a 34% increase in BGA during the test from August 3, 2022 until September 6, 2022 while not impacting any surrounding zooplankton. WaterIQ’s water quality monitoring probes measured the following phycocyanin response. during the study timeframe:

Blue-Green Algae measured in parts per billion (PPB) in mesocosm without ultrasound

Blue-Green Algae measured in parts per billion (PPB) in mesocosm with ultrasound

Chlorophyll A Measurements Over Time

This was also supported by Laughinghouse’s labratory measurements that show a reduction in Chlorophyll A measured over a 3 week time period as seen in the graph to the right.

Non-target conclusions:

  • Analysis showed that chlorophyll decreased over time in both the treatment and control mesocosms. Additionally, analysis of isotopes and fatty acids in both the water column and fish tissues indicated that time had more of an influence on the fatty acid profile and stable δ15N and δ13C isotopes ratios than treatment. Indicating that the ultrasound had no observable effect on non-targets.
  •  
  • The composition of the cyanobacterial community structure revealed a consistent pattern throughout the duration of the study. Furthermore, no bloom-forming cyanobacteria, such as Microcystis, were also observed. Our investigation into the temporal dynamics revealed significant changes in bacterial, including cyanobacterial, communities through time, indicating a natural shift in community structure. These data suggest that ultrasound treatment did not have an observable impact on the overall structure of the bacterial community.

July 2024

By Rick Clark – Director of Environmental and Regulatory Affairs

Industry Research at Lake Okeechobee

August of 2022, Dr. Dail Laughinghouse, studied the effects of WaterIQ’s Pulsar device on non-target species. Many have often wondered how safe our devices are for the environment and if these devices caused harm or stress to other organisms present. Laughinghouse and his team focused his mesocosm studies on Lake Okeechobee to determine the device’s effect on phytoplankton, zooplankton, bacterioplankton and fish. The mesocosm with the ultrasound unit showed a 65% reduction of Blue-Green Algae (BGA), while the mesocosm without the ultrasound unit showed a 34% increase in BGA during the test from August 3, 2022 until September 6, 2022 while not impacting any surrounding zooplankton. WaterIQ’s water quality monitoring probes measured the following phycocyanin response. during the study timeframe:

Blue-Green Algae measured in parts per billion (PPB) in mesocosm without ultrasound

Blue-Green Algae measured in parts per billion (PPB) in mesocosm with ultrasound

Chlorophyll A Measurements Over Time

This was also supported by Laughinghouse’s labratory measurements that show a reduction in Chlorophyll A measured over a 3 week time period as seen in the graph to the right.

Non-target conclusions:

  • Analysis showed that chlorophyll decreased over time in both the treatment and control mesocosms. Additionally, analysis of isotopes and fatty acids in both the water column and fish tissues indicated that time had more of an influence on the fatty acid profile and stable δ15N and δ13C isotopes ratios than treatment. Indicating that the ultrasound had no observable effect on non-targets.
  •  
  • The composition of the cyanobacterial community structure revealed a consistent pattern throughout the duration of the study. Furthermore, no bloom-forming cyanobacteria, such as Microcystis, were also observed. Our investigation into the temporal dynamics revealed significant changes in bacterial, including cyanobacterial, communities through time, indicating a natural shift in community structure. These data suggest that ultrasound treatment did not have an observable impact on the overall structure of the bacterial community.

Algae of the Month

Microcystis

Microcystis aeruginosa is a species of freshwater cyanobacteria that can form harmful algal blooms of economic and ecological importance. They are the most common toxic cyanobacterial bloom in eutrophic fresh water. Cyanobacteria produce neurotoxins and peptide hepatotoxins, such as microcystin and cyanopeptolin.

Ultrasound causes the gas vesicles inside the cell to collapse, the gas migrates to the outer cell wall, diffuses out causing the algae to drop out of the light where it dies. Ultrasound does not lyse the outer cell wall so you would not expect a toxin spike after treatment like you would if you were using chemicals to control the bloom. Ultrasound allows beneficial bacteria to thrive to help mitigate any release of nutrients as the Microcystis degrades.

One Month after Ultrasound Exposure
Two Months after Ultrasound Exposure
Microcystis cells have lost buoyancy and begin to die.
One Month after Ultrasound Exposure
Two Months after Ultrasound Exposure
Microcystis cells have lost buoyancy and begin to die.

Cleaning the Pulsar

This a vital requirement for optimal performance. Clean each unit once a month for fresh water and a minimum of every two weeks in saline environments. Failure to clean is the most common reason why residents might see an uptick in algae. You can find instructions here:

PulsarSplash