Blue Marsh Lake begins second year of efficacy trial for harmful algal bloom mitigation

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is partnering with E M Fluids Inc. to conduct another efficacy trial of the EMF 1000 (Generations 1-2) treatment device for the second consecutive summer, with assistance from SOLitude Lake Management.

This year’s trial will specifically evaluate the effects of the reservoirs inflow rates and impacts of the water treatment in downstream waters. In addition to the Blue Marsh Lake location, a trial will also be conducted at Prompton Lake in Prompton, PA where harmful algal blooms are also a concern within the reservoir.

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During the 2022 summer season, USACE partnered with E M Fluids Inc. and Liberty Environmental to conduct an efficacy trial for algal bloom management using an EMF 1000 treatment device, as part of ongoing initiatives to find innovative and effective solutions to HABs.

Blue Marsh Lake and Prompton Lake visitors may come upon the floating devices in the lake while boating. If seen, do not touch, remove, or disturb any equipment or materials as this could damage the devices and negatively affect vital data collection.

Also, visitors should report any vandalism or tampering with the devices to the Park Office immediately. Any individuals found tampering with research equipment will be cited.

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In laboratory and field studies, the EMF1000 device has demonstrated the promotion of increased oxygen transfer from air to water, reduction of excess nutrients in the water column, reduction of sludge/sediment accumulation, reduction of unwanted algae, and improvements to aesthetic characteristics such as odor, water clarity, and color. Fish studies indicate the device does not negatively impact the behavior or health of fish.

E M Fluids Inc.’s results of the 2022 trial found that most of the data generated from the in-situ AlgaeTrackers (AT) measurement devices suggest that the EMF 1000 was linked to a measurable reduction in phycocyanin, an accessory pigment to chlorophyll used as an indicator for the presence of cyanobacteria.

However, a portion of the data did not indicate that the EMF 1000 had an impact on the treated waters, which is most likely explained due to the inflow variations within the reservoir.

For periods when treatment effects were not measurable, it is inferred that inflow variations resulted in the mixing of treated and untreated waters at the downstream point of measurement. Therefore, the water flowrates at the EMF 1000 location exceeded the propagation rate of the device’s water treatment effect, and the downstream plume geometry for the treated water was defined by water currents that shift with time.

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