7. If the surface water supply has taste
and odor problems, does that mean
cyanotoxins are also in the water?
8. Does my utility need to conduct a
more thorough assessment to determine if cyanotoxins are a problem in
the surface water supply?
9. Can cyanotoxin-producing cyanobacteria blooms be predicted?
10. How are cyanotoxins detected?
11. What are effective ways to treat
drinking water for cyanotoxins?
12. How can cyanobacteria and cyanotoxins monitoring be incorporated
into a utility’s management plan?
This project will produce two additional
deliverables. The second deliverable will
be an action-oriented synthesis of rel-
evant literature for utility personnel and
the water utility community, providing
information necessary to guide develop-
ment of a technically sound evaluation of
cyanotoxins as a water quality concern for
the drinking water supply and appropriate
mitigation measures. The third deliverable
will identify data gaps and identify future
The topic of cyanotoxins was also
covered in WRF’s most-viewed Webcast
of the year: Preparing for and Mitigating
Algae Blooms and Cyanotoxins—The Utility
Perspective. This Webcast, based on case
studies, helps water utilities prepare for
cyanobacterial and toxin events and iden-
tify prevention, mitigation, and treatment
strategies. Standard operating procedures
(SOPs) were presented that answer the fol-
1. When and how should a utility monitor for algae, based on levels and
2. When should a utility start cyanotoxin monitoring, how frequently,
3. What analytical methods should a
utility use and what are the triggers
for using different analytical
4. What treatment preparation and
actions should be taken in the event
of toxin presence in the source water?
In addition, results of a demonstration
scale study on the use of ultrasonic buoy
systems to control algal growth in a drinking water supply reservoir was presented.
In January 2016, WRF issued two RFPs
for future cyanotoxin research. RFP #4647,
“Performance Evaluation of Methods for
the Analysis of Cyanotoxins,” would fund
a project to evaluate existing methods for
the analysis of microcystins and compare
the response by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS).
The project would also develop necessary
quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC)
procedures for the methods and develop
0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140
0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160
0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140
0 20 40 60 80 100
Alum dose (mg/L) Alum dose (mg/L)
300,000 cells/mL 100,000 cells/mL
Source: Newcombe et al. 2015
Figure 1. Cell number and turbidity variations with alum dose, A. circinalis in R. Murray water