Harmful Algae Blooms in Drinking Water: Removal of Cyanobacterial Cells and Toxins, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Harmful Algae Blooms in Drinking Water

Removal of Cyanobacterial Cells and Toxins, 1st Edition

By Harold W. Walker

CRC Press

175 pages

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New in Paperback: 9781138749450
pub: 2017-07-26
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pub: 2014-12-18
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Harmful algal blooms (HABs) occurring in freshwater, and the associated toxins they produce, are dangerous to animals and humans. Mitigating the increasing presence of HABs presents a major challenge to water managers and drinking water utilities across the world. This book explores the current research on removal of HABs and toxins from drinking water. It provides the necessary tools so that treatment plant operators, engineers, and water managers can understand the vulnerability of drinking water treatment plants to HABs and develop treatment processes to minimize the impact of these contaminants.

Although conventional treatment processes can be effective for the removal of HAB cells and some HAB toxins under optimal conditions, the potential exists for significant breakthrough of toxins during normal operation. As a result, there is a recognized need for more advanced techniques. Possible advanced processes for removing HAB toxins include granular activated carbon (GAC), powdered activated carbon (PAC), or oxidative processes. This book reviews both conventional and advanced treatment processes and presents clear and easy-to-understand procedures for the design of systems for optimal cell or toxin removal.


"Harold Walker’s Harmful Algae Blooms in Drinking Water: Removal of Cyanobacterial Cells and Toxins is well written and easy to understand. This book is a great resource for students, managers, water treatment plant operators, anglers, and beach users. With this book, Walker clearly explains the biggest water quality problem of the twenty-first century and its solutions."

— Dr. Jeffrey M. Reutter, Director, Ohio Sea Grant College Program and Stone Laboratory, Ohio State University

"This is an excellent book for people to learn the general aspects about harmful algal blooms, cyanotoxins, their occurrence, and treatment."

— Dr. Dion Dionysiou, Professor and Graduate Program Director, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Cincinnati

Table of Contents


About the Author


Harmful Algal Blooms and Harmful Algal Bloom Toxins

Causes of HABs

HABs and Drinking Water



Occurrence and Ecology of Harmful Algal Blooms


Types of Harmful Algal Blooms

Occurrence of Freshwater HABs

Ecology of Harmful Algal Blooms

Toxin Release and Modes of Expression

Models and Early Warning Tools


Toxin Properties, Toxicity, and Health Effects



Nodularin Properties

Acute and Chronic Toxicity of Nodularin

Genotoxicity and Carcinogenicity of Nodularin

Skin Irritation and Other Effects Induced by Nodularia and Nodularin


Microcystin Properties

Acute and Chronic Toxicity of Microcystins

Genotoxicity and Carcinogenicity of Microcystins

Skin Irritation and Other Effects Induced by Microcystis and Microcystins


Anatoxin-a Properties

Acute and Chronic Toxicity of Anatoxin-a

Genotoxicity and Carcinogenicity of Anatoxin-a

Skin Irritation Induced by Anatoxin-a


Cylindrospermopsin Properties

Acute and Chronic Toxicity of Cylindrospermopsin

Genotoxicity and Carcinogenicity of Cylindrospermopsin

Skin Irritation Induced by Cylindrospermopsis and Cylindrospermopsin


Saxitoxin Properties

Acute and Chronic Toxicity of Saxitoxin

Genotoxicity and Carcinogenicity of Saxitoxin

Skin Irritation Induced by Saxitoxin


Regulation of HABs and HAB Toxins in Surface and Drinking Water


Funding for Research and Risk Assessment on HABs and HAB Toxins

Drinking Water Regulations

Recreational Water Regulations

Nutrient Regulations

Case Study: Grand Lake–St. Marys


Source Water Control of Harmful Algal Blooms and Toxins


Natural Attenuation of HABs and Toxins




In Situ Mitigation of HABs and HAB Toxins

Artificial Destratification and Aeration

Alum Coagulation

Clay Flocculants


Other Approaches


Conventional Treatment Processes for Removal of HAB Cells and Toxins from Drinking Water


Coagulation, Flocculation, Sedimentation, and Dissolved Air Flotation



Modeling Powdered Activated Carbon Adsorption

Modeling Granular Activated Carbon Adsorption

Chemical Disinfection

Other Disinfection Technologies


Advanced Treatment Processes for the Removal of HAB Cells and Toxins from Drinking Water


Membrane Processes

RO and NF for Removal of HABs and HAB Toxins

Ultrafiltration and Microfiltration

Ultrafiltration–Powdered Activated Carbon

Advanced Oxidation Processes


Potassium Permanganate

Photolysis and UV/Hydrogen Peroxide


Sulfate Radical


Fenton Reaction



Summary and Conclusions



About the Author

Harold Walker is director and professor of civil engineering at Stony Brook University. Prior to coming to Stony Brook, Dr. Walker was a professor in the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geodetic Engineering at The Ohio State University. Dr. Walker also served as the director of the Ohio Water Resources Center, the federally authorized and state-designated water resources research institute for the state of Ohio. Dr. Walker served on the board of directors of the National Institutes for Water Resources as well as on the board of directors for the Water Management Association of Ohio. Dr. Walker is a registered professional engineer in the state of Ohio. He has a BS in environmental engineering from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and MS and PhD degrees in civil and environmental engineering from the University of California, Irvine.

Dr. Walker’s research focuses on understanding surface chemical processes in natural and engineered systems, with an emphasis on clean water. Current areas of research include predicting the fate and transport of manufactured nanomaterials, cyanotoxins, and other "emerging" contaminants in groundwater, lakes, oceans, and water treatment plants; developing novel membrane treatment systems and membrane cleaning approaches; and determining the vulnerability of the public to cyanotoxins in finished drinking water. Dr. Walker has secured external funds to support his research from a number of sources, such as the National Science Foundation (NSF), US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), United States Geological Survey (USGS), Department of Energy (DOE), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (through Sea Grant), and a variety of state agencies, industries, and other sources.

About the Series

Advances in Water and Wastewater Transport and Treatment

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Environmental Science
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Environmental / Water Supply