Mitigating HAB Hazards

• Water & Wastewater

Mitigating HAB Hazards

Fight nutrient loading at its source.

  • Problem: Summer heat increases HABs.
  • Solution: Monitor waterbodies & shores.
  • Benefit: Address causes before HABs start.

Summer is around the corner, bringing with it more record temperatures. Watershed managers are buckling down, preparing to battle whatever algal blooms come their way. On the shallow southwestern shores of Lake Erie we call home, the Satelytics team is all too familiar with the threats of cyanobacteria and harmful algal blooms (HABs). But we also know what to look for to beat the blooms.

Satelytics’ water quality measurements in Lake Erie.

Satelytics’ water quality measurements in Lake Erie.

From community ponds to lakes and rivers, Satelytics monitors entire waterbodies and alerts watershed managers to substances and conditions that trigger HABs:

  • Phosphorus. Found in fertilizers, phosphorus contributes to HABs when rains flush the remaining nutrient into waterbodies. Satelytics measures phosphorous on land and in water in parts per billion concentrations so you can identify and remediate runoff sources.
  • Nitrogen. Like phosphorus, nitrogen is prevalent on lawns, fields, and golf courses, and contributes to algae growth. We also measure nitrogen on land and in water in parts per billion concentrations.
  • Chlorophyll-a. Aids photosynthesis in cyanobacteria. Knowing the light wavelengths reflected and absorbed by chlorophyll-a, Satelytics accurately quantifies it in waterbodies to a depth of 18 inches. If chlorophyll-a is present in high concentrations, cyanobacteria and HABs may also be present.
  • Phycocyanin. Accompanying chlorophyll-a, phycocyanin is a pigment-protein that also aids the photosynthetic process. Satelytics can measure chlorophyll-a and phycocyanin independently, providing an accurate measurement of algae concentrations.
  • Surface Temperature. Warm water promotes biological growth, another promoting agent for HABs. Land surface temperature and water surface temperature are quantifiable to ±1°C.

Measure Water Quality

Satelytics also gives watershed managers the tools to identify sources of sediment loading to plan preventative and remediation measures. Turbidity is quantifiable in nephelometric turbidity units (NTU), and a relative sediment model can also be provided. We also measure bathymetry, tracking natural and human-caused sediment build-up around infrastructure such as dams and canals.

Weathering HAB season is a breeze with Satelytics! Reach out today to learn how you, too, can have a relaxing summer.

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