Gilba Solutions were contacted by the Twin Creeks G.C. Course Superintendent, Darren Turner with a water quality issue. After a site inspection there was a strong suggestion that there was the presence of algae and subsequent testing showed the need for blue-green algae control to be carried out.
What causes blue-green algae in water?
Several factors favour the growth of blue-green algae (Cyanobacteria):
- Excessive amounts of available nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen;
- Blooms generally occur in the warmer months as increasing water temperature and light favour its development;
- Still or slow-flowing water;
- Abundant sunlight and
- Hot temperatures with the optimum temperature for many algal species being 35°C.
If these conditions are suitable, cyanobacteria can increase to excessive levels and form visible ‘blooms’ which can lead to poor water quality and the potential for toxicity.
In still conditions, surface water may form a separate warm top layer in which blue-green is able to access sunlight and nutrients and if these combined factors are present for several days, cyanobacteria multiply and form large ‘blooms’.
Nutrients are either naturally present in sediments or are washed into water systems from external sources. In particular, phosphorus may be stored in significant amounts in sediments and released by normal bacterial activity.
On a golf course the major source of external nitrogen and phosphorus is turf fertilizer so using slow-release sources can help counter this. However, household products, sewage effluent and stormwater runoff can also be an issue.
Twin Creeks Golf and Country Club is located in the beautiful surrounds of Nepean Valley and was ranked by Australian Golf Digest at Number 93 in the 2021 rankings whilst it hosted the NSW Open from 2017 – to 2019.
The environmental sensitivity of the area meant that treatment had to be carried out with minimal impact. A number of options were considered but eventually it was decided to treat with Indigo Agri-Tec® a proprietary formulation of copper pentahydrate. The reasons for this were:
- Requires no dispersion and can be simply poured into the dam.
- Can be used at low rates.
- It was no toxic to fish
- Irrigation water could be used after treatment
The Result of blue-green algae control
Within 3 days control could be seen with complete control being seen within a week.
Agri-Tec® is a unique aquatic algaecide. It contains Copper Sulphate Pentahydrate (226g/L) and is registered for the control of a number of algae species including Chara and Phormidium species. It can be used in farm dams and ponds, irrigation canals, ornamental lakes, industrial ponds and potable water supplies.
The key features of Agri-Tec® are:
- It can be applied directly to water bodies.
- Measurement and use are simple.
- It has very low application rates.
- It is effective where the algae growth is concentrated.
- Works in high pH conditions.
- Treated water can be used for irrigation.
- It is non-toxic to fish.
- Further information is available here.