Birch Hills County Water Treatment Plant

The Challenge

The Birch Hills County Water Treatment Plant strives to supply clean, safe, healthy water for nearby towns. It draws its water from two different reservoirs almost identical in size (248 400 sq. ft., depth 17 ft), and both were approximately 11 years old. Most of the water in the reservoirs comes from surface run-off, containing high chemical and nutrient content from farmers’ fields.

Each summer, the treatment plant struggles with algae blooms, which made it a challenge to regulate the toxicity in the drinking water. Copper sulphate was the only means of control in the past, which was time-consuming and very harmful to the environment.

ComboPacks vs. Copper Sulphate

Both reservoirs were adjacent to each other, both were easily accessible and both contained water from the same source. One was treated with copper sulphate, and the other was treated with AAG’s natural ComboPacks. Both treatments went on for 5 months during the summer, but the ComboPacks were much more efficient, environmentally friendly and, ultimately, more effective.

Copper sulphate can cause a number of issues in a body of water:

  • Remains in the pond and does not bio-degrade

  • Can be toxic to fish and other organisms

  • Results in copper build up in pond sediments and creates a sterile bottom in the pond. Besides many important organisms, it kills beneficial bacteria

  • More likely to contribute to rebound blooms of problematic algae than chelated copper algaecides

  • Copper sulfate, a solid, is more hazardous to applicators due to inhalation exposure to dust particles

  • If a heavy buildup of copper sulfate exists where dredging is to occur, the dredged materials may be considered hazardous waste making disposal harder and more expensive

In this particular case, it took 2 operators an hour/month to apply the copper sulphate.

ComboPacks are 100% natural and contain bacteria that are already in the aquatic ecosystem. There are only positive effects to the entire system as the bacteria use natural cycling to break down sludge and outcompete algae for nutrients.