CYANOBACTERIA ARE THE CULPRIT

RESEARCHER FROM UTALCA DETECTED ALGAE THAT POLLUTE LAKE VICHUQUÉN

THE CONCENTRATION OF NUTRIENTS IN THE SHALLOW ZONE AND HIGH TEMPERATURE OF THE WATER ARE FACTORS THAT TRIGGER THE PROBLEM, ACCORDING TO IRIS PEREIRA, ACADEMIC FROM THE ACADEMIC INSTITUTION OF THE MAULE REGION.



January 22, 2016

Disturbing projections regarding the contamination of Lake Vichuquén, unveiled Iris Pereira, researcher from the University of Talca, after analyzing samples taken from the water, alerted by the increase in the algae population and fish death toll.

While neighbors of Vichuquén remain divided about the implication it can have on the problem the artificial barrier built at the mouth of the estuary, in Llico, the natural drainage site of the lake.

This exclusive place is visited by tourists and the inhabitants of the place alike, who cannot bathe in the sectors that are contaminated.

Over the increased presence of algae, the academic from the Institute of Biological Sciences said that it is explained because “the area concentrates a lot of nutrient, it is low-depth and the general 28.2 ºC temperature is very high for an aquatic system”.

If this situation continues, the specialist in the study of algae warned about the effects, since, as she stated, “if the temperature is high, it shoots the algae population, toxins are produced, and fish or other aquatic vertebrate suffer the consequences.” The analysis of the samples confirmed the presence of two kinds of rapidly spreading and highly polluting cyanobacteria.

However, the contamination of the lake is not a new situation. The researcher went last summer to take samples of the water after the concerns of the authorities in this regard and the results were the same, so precedent was set.

According to Pereira, “this is a contamination that occurs by season, summer being the trendsetter in the spread which affects the waters of the lake, a situation confirmed by the cyanobacteria showing up again in the research of this and last  year’s,” she said.



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