Killing cyanobacteria in Virginia reservoirs a central topic of rural water conference

Virginia water managers will discuss cyanobacteria solutions such as EarthTec to control harmful algal blooms in the state’s aging reservoirs.

ROANOKE, Va. – The Virginia Rural Water Association (VRWA) holds its annual meeting in Roanoke this month. The meeting coincides with the start of spring and the onset of cyanobacteria blooms. Controlling such blooms in the state’s aging reservoirs will be an important topic of discussion at the event.

Recent studies warn that cyanobacteria may flourish as Virginia’s lakes and reservoirs acquire ever more nutrients. An early-season bloom in the John W. Flannagan Reservoir last February could signal this shift. The bloom subsided with a March cold snap, but the possibility of future outbreaks remains a concern.

“Aging reservoirs often contain higher nutrient concentrations.” said Fred Singleton, Senior Scientist at Earth Science Laboratories (ESL). “This favors the growth of cyanobacteria over more beneficial kinds of algae. Fortunately, there is a way kill cyanobacteria and preserve water quality.”

According to Singleton, ionic copper kills cyanobacteria cells without causing them to rupture and spill toxins. It also reduces chemicals that cause an unpleasant taste and odor in drinking water. These features make it attractive for treatment plants that draw from reservoirs with high nutrient loads.

ESL will send a representative to the VRWA meeting to discuss EarthTec®, an advanced algaecide/bactericide* that contains ionic copper. ESL’s Cyanobacteria Rapid Response Team uses EarthTec to kill cyanobacteria and to control taste and odor events. The team offers free onsite consultation and installation services.

More information on the VRWA annual conference can be found at

Earth Science Laboratories Inc. manufactures EarthTec for controlling and preventing algae and cyanobacteria. EarthTec is EPA registered, approved for use in open water or in pipelines and NSF Certified to ANSI Standard 60. Visit for more information.

*Nonpublic health bacteria