FastGuard Fluorometer System - Algae monitoring to prevent water contamination
The FastGuard Fluorometer System allows for real time algae monitoring within raw water supplies to prevent water contamination.
Security of water assets is becoming an increasingly major issue that demands immediate and robust alarms for potential contamination. In addition to this, natural growth of algae is an increasingly common problem for water asset managers, the results of which can increase maintenance costs of water processing plants as well as directly effecting water taste. Data obtained from the Chelsea Technologies Group FastGuard fluorometer system can address both these issues within the one sensor. By probing the efficiency of photosynthesis of the algae, signals can be obtained that directly relate to growth potential and also provide indications of damage to the algae by contaminants effecting the photosynthetic process.
- Applications & Features
A wide range of water management applications including:
- Industrial cooling water system management
- Water abstraction management
- Water treatment systems
- Filter bed protection
- Early warning of algae growth
- Algae class assessment and monitoring
- Potable and pre-treated water protection
- Water supply contamination
- Real-time water asset management system
- Robust automated alarms for water contamination
- Simple user interface, providing continuous reporting of key parameters from real time analysis of FRR data
- Ultra fast kinetic measurement (0.2 ms) allows FastGuard to be used with up to 1 m s-1 of linear flow
- Three excitation wavelengths provide for the detection of all classes of algae
- High sensitivity and a large dynamic range
- Fully automated control of gain and measurement LED intensity
- Titanium pressure housing ensures trouble free long term installation
- Installation options allow for straightforward integration with existing systems
- Low maintenance
- Algae Monitoring System
The FastGuard Algae Monitoring System
The FastGuard system combines a third generation Fast Repetition Rate fluorometer (FRRf) and dedicated software for real time data analysis, providing the information required for the operational management of water processing plants and other raw water facilities.
Three wavelengths are better than one
Most active fluorometer systems use a single wavelength band to excite chlorophyll fluorescence, usually in the blue region at between 440 and 470 nm. While this is generally adequate for tracking algae that incorporate chlorophyll b or c as the main secondary light harvesting pigment (including the green algae, diatoms and dinoflagellates), such systems can completely miss the presence of most types of cyanobacteria. The fluorometer used within the FastGuard system incorporates technology from our third generation oceanographic FRRf. This includes the use of three excitation wavelengths (centred at 450, 530 and 624 nm), to ensure that fluorescence is excited within all phytoplankton groups, including all types of cyanobacteria.
The FastGuard software provides fully automated control of the FastGuard sensor, including:
- Detector gain
- ensures continuity of data
- maximises signal to noise
- Measurement LED intensity
- improves the accuracy of FRR data
- maximises the ability of the system to differentiate between cyanobacteria and other classes of algae
- Detector gain
- Data Processing
Data Processing using the FastGuard Algae Monitoring System
Data processing by the FastGuard software incorporate well established algorithms for the analysis of FRR data. Although this analysis generates values for a wide range of parameters, there are two parameters that have particular relevance to water management:
1. Chlorophyll concentration from chlorophyll a fluorescence, which incorporates the following:
- Estimation of cyanobacteria relative to other classes of algae, from multi-wavelength excitation
- The absorption cross sections of PSII light harvesting
2. Growth potential:
- Using FRR-derived absorption coefficients and maximum photosystem II photochemical efficiency, as described by Oxborough et al. (2012)*
- Multi-wavelength derivation allows growth potential within the cyanobacteria to be isolated from other classes of algae
** Oxborough, K., Moore, C.M., Suggett, D.J., Lawson, T., Chan, H.G. and Geider, R.G. 2012 Direct estimation of functional PSII reaction centre concentration and PSII electron flux on a volume basis: a new approach to the analysis of Fast Repetition Rate fluorometry (FRRf) data. Limnol. Oceanogr.: Methods 10:142-154.
- Physical Installation
The FastGuard fluorometer is designed to operate within challenging environments. It employs high grade titanium for the external housing and A4 stainless steel fixings. It is pressure rated to 60 bar. Data are processed in real time. A number of options are available for streaming critical parameters from this analysis to the required location. The FastGuard sensor is designed to require virtually no maintenance between biannual calibrations. In addition, we have considerable expertise in the design of manifolds and sample chamber that are effective in using flowing water to keep the optical surface clear of sediment and biofouling, should this prove necessary.