Removal of Positively Buoyant Planktothrix rubescens in Lake Restoration

Miquel Lürling*, Maíra Mucci, Guido Waajen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


The combination of a low-dose coagulant (polyaluminium chloride-'Floc') and a ballast able to bind phosphate (lanthanum modified bentonite, LMB-'Sink/Lock') have been used successfully to manage cyanobacterial blooms and eutrophication. In a recent 'Floc and Lock' intervention in Lake de Kuil (the Netherlands), cyanobacterial chlorophyll-a was reduced by 90% but, surprisingly, after one week elevated cyanobacterial concentrations were observed again that faded away during following weeks. Hence, to better understand why and how to avoid an increase in cyanobacterial concentration, experiments with collected cyanobacteria from Lakes De Kuil and Rauwbraken were performed. We showed that the Planktothrix rubescens from Lake de Kuil could initially be precipitated using a coagulant and ballast but, after one day, most of the filaments resurfaced again, even using a higher ballast dose. By contrast, the P. rubescens from Lake Rauwbraken remained precipitated after the Floc and Sink/Lock treatment. We highlight the need to test selected measures for each lake as the same technique with similar species (P. rubescens) yielded different results. Moreover, we show that damaging the cells first with hydrogen peroxide before adding the coagulant and ballast (a 'Kill, Floc and Lock/Sink' approach) could be promising to keep P. rubescens precipitated.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 5 Nov 2020


  • Floc and Lock
  • Floc and sink
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • in-lake measures
  • Kill
  • lake restoration
  • PAC
  • Phoslock


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