MPC Buoy prevents algal bloom in Dominican Valdesia reservoir
After dealing with algal blooms for years, Santo Domingo Water and Sewage Corporation (CAASD) installed LG Sonic systems to cover the 7 square km Valdesia reservoir earlier this year.
Two months after the start of the project, the results have reportedly exceeded the set targets.
Important water source
The Valdesia reservoir is the main drinking water supply for the population of the Dominican capital Santa Domingo, providing drinking water to 4 million inhabitants.
The reservoir feeds a large hydroelectric plant, therefore, contributes significantly to the country, both in energy production, human consumption and agriculture.
Chemical free solution
Algal bloom treatment in a water surface as large as the Valdesia reservoir proved challenging for CAASD. The option to use chemical treatment was quickly eliminated. It would be impossible in terms of budget and operations to dose the entire reservoir multiple times a year with chemicals.
It was also important to not cause any harm to the environment by using potentially harmful chemicals. This led CAASD, in their search for an environmentally friendly solution, to the MPC-Buoy of Dutch supplier LG Sonic.
Monitoring and treatment
Choosing MPC-Buoy has allowed CAASD to monitor important algae and water parameters in the entire water surface of the Valdesia reservoir.
The collected data is delivered in real-time to web-based software, allowing water quality specialists from LG Sonic to manage algal blooms from their headquarters, 10.000 kilometers away in the Netherlands.
CAASD periodical collection of water samples, that are later tested in the laboratory, proved the precision of the data collected with water monitoring.
Engineer Luis Salcedo, the director of operations of CAASD, said: ‘We are very happy for having the LG Sonic services, since for us it is a guarantee that the waters that we have in the Valdesia dam will be kept in appropriate conditions’.
Salcedo emphasised the importance of the reservoir for his company to guarantee the water supply: ‘So we can keep using it and be able to continue satisfying the drinking water demand of approximately 40 percent of these four million people who live in the great Santo Domingo.'
Lack of light
The MPC-Buoy is a floating, solar powered, platform that provides continuous online water quality monitoring to control algae by using technology that is based on ultrasound, creating an ultrasonic pressure in the top layer of the water.
This ultrasonic sound barrier prevents the algae from rising to the surface and absorbing light for photosynthesis. Therefore, algae are no longer capable of growing further. The algae will die while the cell wall remains intact, preventing the release of toxins from the algae into the water. The algae will sink to the bottom of the water reservoir and are degraded by the bacteria present.
The data logger is the brain of the MPC-Buoy, handling all data communication between the system and the water quality software MPC-View. Data collected from the ultrasonic transmitters and water quality sensors is processed in real-time and sent to the server over GSM/GPRS telemetry quadband.