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With increasing eutrophication, lakes and reservoirs become more and more sensitive to heavy blooms of bluegreen algae. These ancient, ubiquitous organisms, properly called Cyanobacteria, are capable of producing various potent toxins that are released in the water. They can cause serious health problems when animals and people are swimming or ingesting the polluted water. Expected increasing temperatures and surface run-off during heavy rains, both due to climate change, will aggravate the situation.

Cyano Control Guidance Benefits:

  • Cyano Control Guidance aims to help waterquality managers in finding their way in the maze of proven and non-proven measures to abate the problems associated with Cyanobacterial blooms.
  • It provides factsheets with information on seven different methods of control.
  • On the basis of a few straightforward questions, the user describes the issue at hand and the urgency of a solution.
  • Control measures are proposed that are most likely to deliver an appropriate answer.

The Guidance Tool will help you to locate control options that may fit your situation. The accompanying factsheets for each control option give references for further reading, providing the user with a sound basis to proceed with the design of solutions tailor-made to a particular situation.

The Cyano Control Guidance Tool is based on a Dutch language version designed for watermanagers in The Netherlands, called Beating the Blues, which was launched in March 2014.


The Cyano Control Guidance Tool helps you to select promising options from a set of presently seven different treatment methods. The applicability of these control options depends on the particular nature of your watersystem and characteristics of the Cyanobacterial bloom itself. Each treatment method is described in a detailed factsheet.

In order to select control options that may fit your situation, you are asked to answer four different questions:

  • Do you have a scum layer? Some methods are better in dealing with floating Cyanobacterial cells than others;
  • Do you need a rapid solution? Some methods may need quite some time in preparation before deployment, for instance because of time consumed by obtaining necessary permits or for the acquisition of technical equipment;
  • Is your waterbody relatively small in surface, or can you take measures to reduce the effective surface area to be dealt with? Not all methods are technically or economically feasible when the surface area to be treated is large (>0,5 ha);
  •  Is your waterbody thermally stratified, so is it relatively deep? This may restrict your options to particular methods.

Implementation of the tool

The Cyano Control Guidance Tool itself is fully web-based, you do not have to install particular software to select various control options. However, in order to open the factsheets describing control methods in detail, you need pdf reader software, for instance Adobe Acrobat Reader.

On the basis of your answers, the Guidance Tool responds with a selected set of treatment options. Some of these may be preferred, ie. measures that are seen as quite likely to be of help in your situation. So-called alternative options are control methods that might also be of use, but their effectiveness is deemed less likely on the basis of your answers to the questionnaire.


There are several forms of support available to ensure that you optimize your use of the Cyano Control Guidance Tool, and that you are updated on all the latest developments. Specifically, you can make use of the following options to suit your particular situation:

  • Support in using the tool and in the interpretation of its outcome to arrive at tailor-made solutions for your waterquality issues
  • Evaluation of your waterquality monitoring strategy and early warning system, on the basis of existing measurement data or with a specifically designed monitoring programme.
  • Advice on rapid detection of Cyanobacterial risk and of sources of fecal pollution, using sensitive DNA-based techniques.
  • Advice on determining the key factors that affect your watersystem, so as to identify potential causes of algal blooming or to improve the general ecological waterquality in view of the European Water Framework Directive and Bathing Water Directive.
  • Access to projects or research dealing with bathing water quality and Cyanobacteria issues.

Tool Expert(s)

Jasper Stroom

Senior advisor waterquality , Waternet

+31 (0)6 575 43 213

Michiel Hootsmans

Senior scientist aquatic ecology, KWR

+31 (0)30 60 69 648

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