Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) can have a devastating effect on the health of communities, as well as on their local economies. Cyanotoxins present an immediate health-risk to humans and animals. They can cause a range of conditions, from acute nausea and skin irritation to chronic liver and neurocognitive diseases.
Furthermore, the presence of HABs prohibit recreational activities in and around the water, affecting tourism and depreciating home and business values.
Being chemically stable, cyanotoxins do not simply decompose, but require significant oxidation to degrade. Current water treatment systems for public water supply are not efficient in degradation of these toxins, but studies have shown that by using Advanced Oxidation Processes (AOPs) - Photo catalysis, Electrolysis, Chlorine dioxide and UV radiation, to name a few, were directly associated with toxin degradation.
Notably, in their environment, cyanobacteria produce a wide range of compounds such as geosmin and 2-methylisoborneol, that are associated with unpleasant taste and odour in potable water.