On-line monitoring of cyanobacteria to predict coagulant doses and powdered activated carbon application in water treatment

Components of the ARC Linkage Project LP130100033
Components of the ARC Linkage Project LP130100033

Improved early warning, process optimisation and water quality

Funding Source(s), Partners and Period

  • Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Project: LP130100033 (2014-2017)
  • Australian Water Quality Centre (AWQC) - South Australian Water Corporation
  • South East Queensland Water
  • New South Wales Office of Water
  • Sydney Catchment Authority
  • Melbourne Water Corporation
  • Water Corporation
  • Water Quality Research Australia Ltd.
  • National Cheng Kung University (Taiwan)
Chief Investigators

Dr. Rita Henderson(bioMASS Lab)
Dr. Richard Stuetz
 (School of Civil & Env Eng)

Partner Investigators

Dr. Gayle Newcombe (AWQC - SA Water), Dr. Chris Chow (AWQC - SA Water), Dr. Peter Hobson (AWQC - SA Water), Mr. Lee Bowling (NSW Office of Water), Prof. Tsair-Fuh Lin (National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan), Ms Judy Blackbeard (Melbourne Water), Ms Annalie Roux (Seqwater), Mr. Bala Vigneswaran (Sydney Catchment Authority), David Halliwell (Water Research Australia)


Senior Research Associate

Dr. Arash Zamyadi


PhD Candidate

Ms Sara Imran Khan (bioMASS Lab, WRA PhD Scholarship)

Ms Florence Choo (bioMASS Lab, WRA PhD Scholarship)


Project summary

The aim of this study is to assist ensuring water quality guidelines are met during cyanobacteria blooms by developing a protocol for the application of an on-line analyser to obtain real-time information to direct coagulant and powdered activated carbon doses. This will be achieved via a series of objectives:

  • The calibration of fluorescence probes for accurate cyanobacteria enumeration in a range of water quality conditions
  • The estimation and validation of cyanobacteria metabolites cell quotas and intra- and extra-partitioning for cultured and environmental cyanobacteria samples
  • The application and validation of the probe for the ‘real time’ determination of cell numbers and extracellular metabolite concentration to control PAC dose
  • The application and validation of the probe to assist in directing coagulant doses in the presence of cyanobacteria to achieve filtered water quality goals
  • The determination of the feasibility of the application of the probes as an on-line tool at a full-scale plant



Paper published in refereed journal

L.C. Bowling, A. Zamyadi, R.K. Henderson (2016) Assessment of in situ fluorometry to measure cyanobacterial presence in water bodies with diverse cyanobacterial populations. Water Research, 105, 22-33. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.watres.2016.08.051

A. Zamyadi, F. Choo, G. Newcombe, R. Stuetz, R. Henderson (2016) A review of monitoring technologies for real-time management of cyanobacteria: recent advances and future direction. Trends in Analytical Chemistry (TrAC), 85, 83-96. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.trac.2016.06.023

A. Zamyadi, R. K. Henderson, R. Stuetz, G. Newcombe, K. Newtown, B. Gladman (2016) Cyanobacterial management in full-scale water treatment and recycling processes: Reactive dosing following intensive monitoring. Submitted to Environmental Science: Water Research & Technology, 2(2), 362-375. http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c5ew00269a. - Recently selected as one of the top 13 papers for the journal 2016

R.K. Henderson, Y. Shutova, A. Baker, A. Zamyadi, P. Le-Clech, A. Branch, G. Newcombe, S. Khan, R. Stuetz, 2015. Fluorescence: State-of-the-art monitoring for water treatment systems. Water: Journal of Australian Water Association, 42(2), 108-113 (Click here to see the full paper).

A.  Zamyadi, R. Henderson, R. Stuetz, R. Hofmann, L. Ho., G. Newcombe, 2015. Fate of geosmin and 2-methylisoborneol in full-scale water treatment plants. Water Research, 83, 171-183. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.watres.2016.08.051

Conference publication

A. Zamyadi, M. Prevost, S. Dorner, G. Newcombe, R. Stuetz, R. Henderson, 2013. Fluorescence probes for real-time management of cyanobacterial blooms in drinking water sources. Ozwater’15 conference, Adelaide, Australia (Click here to see the full program).


Industry/community Outreach

Webinar in collaboration with YSI Inc.: "Safeguarding Source Water: How Online Monitoring of Algae Leads to Data-Driven Decisions".