Journal of environmental sciences (China)

Effects of sludge dredging on the prevention and control of algae-caused black bloom in Taihu Lake, China.

PMID 23923414


Algae-caused black bloom (also known as black water agglomerate) has recently become a critical problem in some Chinese lakes. It has been suggested that the occurrence of algae-caused black bloom was caused by the cooperation of nutrient-rich sediment with dead algae, and sludge dredging was adopted to control black bloom in some lakes of China. In this article, based on the simulation of black bloom using a Y-shape apparatus for modeling natural conditions, both un-dredged and dredged sites in three areas of Taihu-Lake, China were studied to estimate the effects of dredging on the prevention and control of black bloom. During the experiment, drained algae were added to all six sites as an additional organic load; subsequently, the dissolved oxygen decreased rapidly, dropping to 0 mg/L at the sediment-water interface. Black bloom did not occur in the dredged sites of Moon Bay and Nan Quan, whereas all three un-dredged sites at Fudu Port, Moon Bay and Nan Quan experienced black bloom. Black bloom also occurred at the dredged site of Fudu Port one day later than at the other sites, and the odor and color were lighter than at the other locations. The color and odor of the black water mainly result from the presence of sulfides such as metal sulfides and hydrogen sulfide, among other chemicals, under reductive conditions. The color and odor of the water, together with the high concentrations of nutrients, were mainly caused by the decomposition of the algae and the presence of nutrient-rich sediment. Overall, the removal of the nutrient-rich sediment by dredging can prevent the occurrence and control the degree of algae-caused black bloom in Taihu Lake.