Water/Wastewater

Ultrasonic Algae Control Without Chemicals - George Hutchinson

Jun 08 2010

Author: George Hutchinson

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In the 1890’s it was discovered that loud sounds could stop a blue-green algae bloom in its tracks. However, even then most people thought that dynamite was a little extreme for algae control! Then in the early 1920’s during the experimentation that produced sonar, Paul Langevin discovered that these same types of algae were disabled by ultrasound, though most likely due to the very powerful nature of the sonar pulse that created cavitation.

Then in the 1970’s it was discovered that gas vesicles could be broken by a sharp change in pressure past a limit called the blue-green algae’s turgor pressure.It wasn’t until the 1990’s that lower intensity ultrasound
was found capable of disabling blue-green algae, green algae and diatoms by use of sound resonance.The latest innovation, now being successfully used in potable water and waste water municipal applications, is the control of biofilm growth by the introduction of a false sense of turbulence to facultative anaerobic bacteria from the high intensity, variable frequency sound waves.

The benefits of this technology include the reduction of chemical algaecides, cleaning chemicals, cleaning operation man-power, lower disinfection chemical costs, and reduction of cooling water biological chemical control costs. Reducing the level of disinfection chemicals has the added benefit of reducing THMs (tri-halo methanes) and HAAs (halo acetic acids), two key carcinogens produced by disinfection that must be maintained in part per billion levels.The units are simple to install, use very little power, and require very little equipment maintenance.

Sonic Solutions LLC currently offers five models of varying intensity levels from a small backyard pond to lake size applications.Of them, the Sonic Solutions SS600 model is the most powerful.Of ultrasonic algae control units available on the world market today, the SS600 ranks number one for output power, effective range, bandwidth coverage and number of generated frequencies. It has a range and area capability greater than 50% more than the nearest competitor.Its success is a result of biological and electronics experts who made it their goal to set the performance standard for this technology.It is powerful enough to cover a 6.5 acre pond for all roaming algae types and more than 20 acres for blue-green algae under ideal conditions.

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