Improving water supplies

Improving water supplies through predictive algae bloom monitoring

Improving water supplies through predictive algae bloom monitoring

This largescale project between the School of Chemical Engineering, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering and a cohort of industry partners including SA Water, Melbourne Water, NSW Office of Water, Seqwater, WaterNSW and Water Research Australia was the recipient of an ARC Linkage Grant, and undertook vital research into the technology deployed to minimize the impacts of harmful algae and cyanobacteria blooms in water supplies.

Fluorometers have been developed to monitor blooms to provide early warning to water treatment plant operators. Over 18 months, the project investigated their effectiveness across 13 water treatment plant sites and the systematic evaluation of 6 fluorometers across 4 different cyanobacterial species.

This enabled the development of correction factors, recommendations for site implementation and for the most appropriate fluorometers depending on site-specific circumstances. These findings will directly impact the deployment and implementation of future fluorometer installations for cleaner water supplies.



“An industry PhD is different to a normal PhD as the research being conducted can have a direct and visible impact in the industry,” said Florence Choo, of her industry PhD experience. She has since been hired by SA Water, where she continues her work. “It can also help shape the direction of research so that industry implementation can have the most impact.”