Blue Green Algal Blooms

A Full View of Blue-Green Algal Blooms

Fighting the Harmful Effects of Algae and Algal Toxins in Our Water

Algae are essential to life on earth. They are an important food and energy source and can capture carbon dioxide. However, excess algae and cyanobacteria in aquatic environments are undesirable and can wreak havoc on ecosystems, recreational activities, economies, and public drinking water systems. 

Algae have long been known to produce objectionable taste and odor compounds in surface waters and drinking water. Many water treatment plants are also challenged by filter clogging diatoms. Yet, more recently, we’ve become aware of the risk that harmful algal blooms, including photosynthetic cyanobacteria, may pose to human and animal health through the production of algal toxins. 

Prevention of HABs may be the most effective way to avoid the production of algal toxins and taste and odor compounds. However, HAB management requires a holistic One Water approach to water supply management. Key management strategies include: 

  • nutrient management from wastewater treatment plants and stormwater runoff, 
  • watershed protection, 
  • reservoir monitoring and modeling, 
  • in-reservoir design and control strategies, and 
  • the application of targeted water treatment technologies. 

Understanding and predicting the impacts of climate change is also an important element of a One Water control strategy. Our One Water approach brings together subject matter experts across the water cycle to collaboratively find HAB solutions to sustain and utilize water resources.

water modeling example

Water Quality and Hydrodynamic Modeling Software

Our modeling group has been at the forefront of developing and applying mathematical models to address the impacts of pollutant discharges on water quality and ecosystem health. 

We provide two open-source models that are available to the modeling community.

Meet our leaders

Samantha Black | HDR | speaker
Water/Wastewater Engineer
Pierre Kwan
Water Treatment Technical Director
Chance Lauderdale
Drinking Water Director
Mike McMahon
Climate Lead
Andy Thuman
Water Quality Fate and Transport Modeler
Katie Walker
Drinking Water Lead
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