Algal blooms and toxins
Organic Chemistry offers a range of analytical tests for surveillance of algae in drinking, recreational and ornamental water bodies. Our expert team provides outstanding service delivery in:
- identification and enumeration of freshwater algae including cyanobacteria (blue-green algae)
- early detection of toxic blue green algae by DNA analysis
- algal toxin analysis (freshwater and marine).
In addition, our staff have expertise in the interpretation of analytical tests and can provide education and training and method research and development.
Why monitor algae?
Harmful algal blooms can threaten human health and food security.
Routine monitoring of water bodies enables water utility operators and managers to ascertain risk, and develop frameworks to respond to the onset and progress of potentially toxic algal blooms in water. The ability to act quickly to changes in algal concentrations, through the instigation of a water treatment intervention to remove toxins and taste and odour products, is vital in water resource management.
|Algae ID and counts||250mL, 1L usual vol||HDPE plastic or glass||Lugol’s iodine or as sampled||Chilled (not frozen)||Max 48hrs if not preserved|
|Toxin genes||100mL||HDPE plastic or glass||N/A||Chilled (not frozen)||Max 48hrs|
|HDPE plastic or glass||Sodium thiosulphate (if chlorinated) or as sampled||Chilled||
>5 days needs to be frozen
Algae and algae toxin testing capability
|Analytical test||Reporting limit||Method||Turnaround time (approximate)|
|*Cyanobacteria ID/counts (including potentially toxic algae)||25 cells/mL||Phase contrast microscopy||2-3 working days|
|*Biovolume (cyanobacteria)||0.01mm3/L||Phase contrast microscopy||2-3 working days|
|*Total Phytoplankton ID/counts||5 cells/mL||Phase contrast microscopy||4 working days|
|Blue green algae gene detection||Presence/absence||PCR/real time PCR||4 working days|
|Microcystins||0.5μg/L||HPLC MS||3-5 working days|
|Saxitoxins (not saxitoxin equivalents)||2.0μg/L||HPLC/Fluorescence detection||3-5 working days|
|Cylindrospermopsin/ deoxy-cylindrospermopsin||0.2μg/L||HPLC MS||3-5 working days|
|Lyngbyatoxin A/ marine toxins (DSPs)||0.5μg/L||HPLC MS||3-5 working days|
|Nodularin||0.5μg/L||HPLC MS||3-5 working days|
|Anatoxin-a||0.5μg/L||HPLC MS||3-5 working days|
*NATA accredited tests
Need more information?
To discuss your needs or to request a quote, contact Public and Environmental Health, Organic Chemistry:
Algal identification and enumeration
Phone: +61 7 3096 2850
Identification of toxin genes
Phone: +61 7 3096 2843
Toxin identification and quantitation
Phone: +61 7 3096 2846