Mitigating eutrophication nuisance: in-lake measures are becoming inevitable in eutrophic waters in the Netherlands

Miquel Lürling*, Maíra Mucci

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

70 Citations (Scopus)


In the Netherlands, legacies and diffuse nutrient pollution continue to fuel recurrent cyanobacterial blooms in mostly shallow and relatively small surface waters. A survey in peer-reviewed literature and Dutch grey-literature was performed to gain insight into the physical-, chemical- and biological in-lake interventions used to bring these waters towards their desired state. A critical overview is presented on efficacy of different measures to counteract cyanobacterial blooms directly via targeting the cyanobacteria or indirectly via reduction of nutrient availability. Many actions have no or limited effects on minimising cyanobacterial blooms (air-bubble- or oil screens, surface mixers, low-energy ultrasound, effective micro-organisms, fish introduction), while others are more effective, but may vary in longevity and costs (dams, excavation or dredging, hydrogen peroxide, phosphorus inactivation agents), meet legislation restrictions (copper-based algaecides, herbicides, dreissenids), or are not currently implemented (hypolimnetic withdrawal). The selection of promising interventions requires a proper diagnosis of each problem lake, based on water- and nutrient fluxes, the biology of the lake (plants, fish), the function of the lake and the characteristics of the method, such as efficacy, costs, safety and ease of implementation. In the Netherlands, ongoing diffuse loads and legacies necessitate repetitive in-lake interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4447-4467
Early online date22 May 2020
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


  • Cyanobacteria blooms
  • Geo-engineering
  • Harmful algal blooms
  • Internal load
  • Lake restoration


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