NY State Testing Ultrasonic Buoys to Combat HABs

Ultrasonic Buoys installation

LG Sonic’s MPC-Buoy is designed to control algal blooms in large lakes and reservoirs. It uses interactive ultrasound technology with integrated water quality monitoring.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), in partnership with the village of Southampton, has announced a new research project that will evaluate the efficacy of MPC-Buoy systems to mitigate harmful algal blooms on Lake Agawam. This research is part of the HABs Action Plan developed in 2020 by DEC for Lake Agawam.

Brief background on Lake Agawam

Lake Agawam is a 64-acre freshwater lake in Suffolk County. It has an average depth of 10 feet, and the volume is approximately 208 million gallons. Lake Agawam has received considerable attention by state agencies, NGOs, lake users, and other stakeholders due to its long history of harmful algal blooms. Samples have been collected weekly from 2013 to 2019, when toxic blooms were present.

State experts are working closely with both the Lake Agawam community, and with Stony Brook University. Together, they are set to study the effectiveness of ultrasonic devices throughout the summer of 2021. If the pilot study provides positive results, MPC-Buoys could be used for other water bodies that are contaminated with harmful algal blooms.

The summer season presents optimal conditions to evaluate the use of ultrasonic treatment for the long-term improvement of the lake’s water quality. Algal blooms are more likely to occur and become a problem when temperatures rise. Besides unpleasant tastes and odors, excessive algal blooms can seriously harm humans, pets, and aquatic organisms..

A green solution for green waters

MPC-Buoy is a floating, solar-powered system that combines continuous water quality monitoring through web-based software, and ultrasonic technology to effectively control algae in real-time. The MPC-Buoys emit ultrasonic waves that create a sound layer in the top layer of the water, impacting the buoyancy of algae cells. These cells sink to the deeper layers of the water column, where the algae can no longer access sunlight and thus, naturally die.

MPC-Buoys are manufactured by LG Sonic U.S., based in Scranton, Pennsylvania. To date, MPC-Buoy systems have been successfully controlling harmful algal blooms in the states of (FGCU), California (Vallecitos Water District), Georgia, New York (NYSDEC), Pennsylvania (American Water), Virginia, Minnesota (City of Minneapolis), Illinois, Indiana (NIPSCO), Colorado (Ramey Environmental Compliance), and Maryland.

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