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Automated FlowCAM imaging particle analysis instrumentation will speed algae detection & help protect drinking water
Water quality instrumentation manufacturer Fluid Imaging Technologies, Yarmouth, Maine, has contracted with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on the sale of the company’s automated FlowCAM particle imaging and analysis system. To be deployed in the Huntington District, Huntington, W.Va., the FlowCAM will speed the detection and identification of Cyanobacteria and other algal cells in source water and permit advisories to be issued to the public more quickly than possible when using manual microscopy.
The Huntington District Corps of Engineers manages 311 navigable miles of the Ohio River in West Virginia, Kentucky and Ohio, plus nine major tributaries and operates 35 multi-purpose reservoirs that provide drinking water to the region. While the large majority of these reservoirs have never experienced toxin producing algal blooms, an increasing awareness of harmful algal blooms and their role in public safety were factors in the purchase, according to Jonathan Dawson, sales manager, municipal market for Fluid Imaging Technologies.
“Using a microscope typically requires at least a week after sampling to document the presence of algal cells and a trained phycologist to identify the species, provide a count and determine if advisories are needed,” says Dawson. “If that knowledge can be provided faster, then the water quality department will be in a better position to provide information to the public.”