In water bodies that have high concentrations of phosphorus, harmful algal blooms proliferate, leading to water quality, health and odour issues. Phoslock is a lanthanum modified bentonite material that binds phosphate. It was developed in the early 2000’s by Australia’s leading scientific organisation; the CSIRO. Phoslock permanently binds phosphate and forms a new inert mineral called Rhabdophane. The new mineral becomes part of the natural lake sediments. Phoslock removes excess phosphate from the water and in turn significantly reduces the growth of harmful algae. If excessive concentrations of phosphorus are left in a water body; algal blooms dominate and throw out the balance of the natural environment. Phoslock has been successfully applied to over 250 water bodies around the world.
Certain types of modified zeolites can be applied to heavily polluted water in order to bind nitrogen. Zeolites have a porous structure are used in industry as absorbents. In water treatment, they are applied to a water body with other treatment products such as Phoslock; to target nutrients. Nitrogen is another important food source for the growth of harmful algae. By significantly reducing the concentration of phosphorus and nitrogen in a water body; the water quality will improve and will return the aquatic system back to health.
Certain types of bacteria are used in water treatment processes to improve the quality of water. In water bodies such as those with inflow from industry and sewerage, bacteria can be used to consume or break down pollutants. For example bacteria can: facilitate an environment where there is an increase in oxygen to assist with the breakdown of organic material (such as leaves and decaying aquatic plants). A measurement of organic pollution in a sample of water is the Biological Oxygen Demand (BoD). Bacteria can also assist with the assimilation of organic compounds in the water. The test that measures the chemical decomposition of organic and inorganic contaminants is referred to as the Chemical Oxygen Demand (CoD). Bacteria can also be used to reduce the amount of other types of bacteria in water such as E. Coli which causes human and water borne diseases.