CyanoTOX: Tools for Managing Cyanotoxins in Drinking Water Treatment with Chemical Oxidants

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Learn more about the Hazen-Adams Model referenced in this article.

At ACE 2016, the co-authors of this article conducted a presenation about the CyanoTOX model and its applications.

(RALEIGH, NC – December 1, 2016) – Several Hazen and Sawyer engineers co-authored an article titled “CyanoTOX: Tools for Managing Cyanotoxins in Drinking Water Treatment with Chemical Oxidants” in the December 2016 issue of Journal AWWA.

Despite efforts to control nutrients in surface water, harmful algal blooms (HAB) have increased in frequency and severity in part due to impacts from extreme weather events and other extenuating factors (Blom, 1958; Paerl & Huisman, 2008; Stanford et al, 2014). In August 2014, the City of Toledo, OH reported elevated microcystin concentrations in their finished water resulting in a notice to residents to not drink, cook or brush their teeth with their tap water. Even though microcystins are not regulated in the United States, their presence and impact on Ohio’s fourth largest city put a national spotlight on HABs in Lake Erie and throughout the country.

To address the complexities of chemical oxidation and treatment of cyanotoxins for utilities, a spreadsheet tool entitled the Hazen-Adams Cyanotoxin Tool for OXidation kinetics (CyanoTOX) Model was developed. Designed as an assessment tool, CyanoTOX uses high quality and vetted kinetic data on cyanotoxin oxidation from the peer-reviewed literature in combination with a traditional modeling approach to kinetics. CyanoTOX can be applied either to develop an assessment of cyanotoxin removal of an existing treatment process or to consider treatment alternatives. The purpose of this manuscript is first to provide details on the CyanoTOX model (Version 1.0). Second, discussion is presented on how utilities may use CyanoTOX to assess options for control of cyanotoxin events in their water supply and treatment systems.

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