Dissertation: Jing Li, Managing Eutrophic Waters in Artificial Recharge Plants – Cyanotoxin risks in Swedish freshwaters

On Friday the 27 of March Jing Li defended her thesis "Managing Eutrophic Waters in Artificial Recharge Plants - Cyanotoxin risk in Swedish freshwaters".

In the last decades, the frequency and intensity of cyanobacterial blooms have been of increasing concern. They have become a direct threat to the drinking water supply by clogging filters, bringing odour and unpleasant taste to the treated water and worst of all, causing elevated cyanotoxins, which can be difficult to remove, yet lead to severe health issues.

Jing Li’s thesis aims to present a comprehensive knowledge base and tools for water managers and operators to understand cyanobacterial risk in their water so that bloom problems can be prevented or mitigated.

Cyanobacteria Management Tool

Firstly, an adaptive approach for cyanobacteria management in drinking water supply is proposed, starting with an overview of this problem and resulting in a conceptual management tool design, a Cyanobacteria Management Tool (CMT) by which multi-indicators for actions are provided.

National and local scale

Secondly, the magnitude of this problem in Swedish freshwaters was studied both on a national and local scale, including their geographical distribution, species dynamics, bloom seasonal pattern and their connection with eutrophication status, land use, and other factors.

Impact of nutrients on cyanobacteria formation

Thirdly, the study highlights impact of nutrients on cyanobacteria formation, including testing two hypothesizes, 1) if Total Phosphorus (TP) can be used to predict cyanobacteria risk and 2) if the Dissolved Inorganic Nitrogen and Phosphorus ratio (DIN/TP) is a better indicator for cyanobacteria risk than TN/TP. The results were also verified by a full-scale on-site experiment study of pre-treating eutrophic water at a local water treatment plant.

Lastly, cyanotoxin detection challenges and strategies are presented.

Find Jing Li’s thesis here

You can find Jing Li’s thesis “Managing Eutrophic Waters in Artificial Recharge Plants : Cyanotoxin risk in Swedish freshwaters” here (link to Lund University Publications) 

Jing Li has been a PhD student at Water Resouces Engineering at Lund University and Sweden Water Research.