In-situ control of filamentous odor-producing cyanobacteria based on underwater light lowering technology in source water reservoirs: mechanism and strategy development

Project Information

  • From: the National Science Foundation of China
  • Founding: ¥0.60 M
  • Host: Ming Su
  • Period: Jan, 2019 - Dec, 2022
  • Grant No.: 51878649


The off-flavour problems caused by filamentous cyanobacteria in source water reservoirs have been frequently recorded in China, some of these cyanobacterial strains are able to produce 2-Methylisoborneol (2-MIB), an earthy/musty odorant. 2-MIB, with an extremely low odor threshold can not be effectively removed by conventional water treatment process, and thus threatens water supply safety. This project explores the growth and odor characteristics of typical filamentous odor-producing cyanobacteria under different light conditions at different intensity level and spectrum distribution, as well as the competition with bloom forming cyanobacteria. By combining the results from lab culture studies and on-site simulation experiments, the light thresholds for restricting cyanobacterial growth was determined. Based on these results, hydraulic regulating strategy is expected to be developed to control underwater light conditions for different type of reservoirs, and a hydraulic model can be construct according to boundary conditions of targeting reservoirs. This hydraulic model can be subsequently used to simulate various scenes with different hydraulic measures and to compute the distribution of underwater light climate, which can be used to elect the best feasible hydraulic measure according to light thresholds of different strains. The research consists of light response mechanism exploration for various typical odorous filamentous cyanobacteria, and hydraulic measures development for different types of reservoirs with different turbidity level, herein two case studies for the low turbid Miyun Reservoir and high turbid Qingcaosha Reservoir will be performed for developing respective control strategies.

Ming Su
Ming Su
Associate Professor of Environmental Engneering

My research interest is water quality problems in drinking water bodies, with a focus on harmful algal blooms and associated taste & odor problems.