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Managing Eutrophication in a Tropical Brackish Water Lagoon: Testing Lanthanum-Modified Clay and Coagulant for Internal Load Reduction and Cyanobacteria Bloom Removal


Managing Eutrophication in a Tropical Brackish Water Lagoon: Testing Lanthanum-Modified Clay and Coagulant for Internal Load Reduction and Cyanobacteria Bloom Removal



Estuaries and Coasts 42(2): 390-402



ISSN/ISBN: 1559-2723

DOI: 10.1007/s12237-018-0474-8

The release of phosphorus (P) stored in the sediment may cause long-term delay in the recovery of lakes, ponds, and lagoons from eutrophication. In this paper, we tested on a laboratory scale the efficacy of the flocculant polyaluminium chloride (PAC) and a strong P-binding agent (lanthanum-modified bentonite, LMB) on their ability to flocculate a cyanobacterial bloom and hamper P release from a hypertrophic, brackish lagoon sediment. In addition, critical P loading was estimated through PCLake. We showed that cyanobacteria could be effectively settled using a PAC dose of 2mgAlL(-1) combined with 400-mgL(-1) LMB; PAC 8mgAlL(-1) alone could also remove cyanobacteria, although its performance was improved adding low concentrations of LMB. The efficacy of LMB to bind P released from the sediment was tested based on potentially available sediment P. A dose of 400gLMBm(-2) significantly reduced the P release from sediment to over-standing water (either deionized water or water from the lagoon with and without cyanobacteria). In sediment cores, LMB+PAC reduced sediment P flux from 9.9 (+/- 3.3) to -4.6 (+/- 0.3)mgPm(-2)day(-1) for the experimental period of 3months. The internal P load was 14 times higher than the estimated P critical load (0.7mgPm(-2)day(-1)), thus even if all the external P sources would be ceased, the water quality will not improve promptly. Hence, the combined LMB+PAC treatment seems a promising in-lake intervention to diminish internal P load bellow the critical load. Such intervention is able to speed up recovery in the brackish lagoon once external loading has been tackled and at a cost of less than 5% of the estimated dredging costs.

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Accession: 070902997

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