Leading global water tech company, BlueGreen Water Technologies (BlueGreen), in collaboration with Sedibeng Water, begun implementing its innovative algae treatment solution at Setumo Dam on the Molopo River, North West, South Africa, on 12 March 2021.

Using in-situ data as well as satellite imagery to identify and surgically treat toxic algal hotspots, BlueGreen’s Lake Guard™ solution is anticipated to provide a lifeline to Setumo Dam, where drinking water operations have been severely impaired by years of uninterrupted algal growth.

This is the second major South African dam to be treated by BlueGreen following thousands of successful commercial applications around the world.

In 2015 it was estimated about 62% of South African water bodies were subject to toxic blue green algal blooms. This raised alarm bells around the safety of South African water sources, and the impact of contaminated sources on the environment, human and animal health, and the economy.

Last year marked a turning point in the fight against toxic blue-green algae in South Africa when BlueGreen introduced Lake Guard™ to the country. The company was tasked with a strategic intervention at Roodeplaat Dam, Pretoria, ahead of an international regatta championship. Following an interventional application of Lake Guard™, water quality tests and satellite images confirmed a significant drop in toxic cyanobacteria levels in the dam.

Cyanobacteria, which form blue-green algae blooms, are reported to infest around 60 million lakes around the world. Mostly left untreated, they increase in frequency and severity year on year, ultimately turning infected waterbodies into dead aquatic zones. In addition to creating hostile living conditions in the water, cyanobacteria release potent, and offensive smelling and tasting, metabolites and toxins, which present an immediate health risk to local communities. Both direct contact with, and breathing in the aerosol from, infested waters is dangerous.  

“We want to help South Africans realise their basic human right to clean water,” explains BlueGreen Water Technologies CEO, Eyal Harel. “Our work at Setumo Dam is another milestone in our joint efforts with South African authorities to improve water availability and water quality in the country.”

Jurgens van Loggerenberg, GM of BlueGreen Water Technologies in South Africa, says the arrival of this cutting-edge technology in the country heralds a new dawn for local water resource management.

“Water bodies like Setumo Dam are in desperate need of intervention and rehabilitation. In a water-scarce country like South Africa, every drop of water in every lake, dam, river and stream is precious. Working with local government, we can turn the tide on contaminated water sources, helping to provide clean water for all, including underprivileged communities,” says van Loggerenberg.

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