Fortescue Metals Group

Solomon Mine Site (Western Australia)

String Algae Outbreaks

In February 2014 Marine Easy Clean was brought in to advise FMG on how to treat their string algae outbreaks in 7 dams that were causing around $1.2 million costs in plant shutdowns per day from filter blockages to their processing plant.

We instantly implemented a treatment plan, which was to attack this invasive algae with TWC blocks and additionally organic oil consuming bacteria. This stops string algae outbreaks by removing the nutritional value in phosphate, which are organic oils. Not allowing the string algae to store such oils in the algae mats starves the algae, leading to controlling its invasive growth.

The photos clearly show we have maintained the string algae outbreaks and have taken control of the string algal mats, therefore putting a stop to the filter blockages and plant shutdowns.

Our treatment plan has now been in place for 10 months with 3 treatments being conducted.

Yearly Treatment Plan

  • October – Full TWC treatment with organic oil consuming bacteria. This is to help stop the string algae mats from storing phosphate which they then release when conditions are perfect.
  • January (12 weeks later) – TWC treatment with organic oil consuming bacteria. This is to directly attack the string algae on its normal phosphate release.
  • June (5 months later) – Full TWC treatment. This is the initial winter start-up for the sting algae mats to start forming and storing phosphate
  • 20 KG of organic oil consuming bacteria is maintained on site to be used if any visual string algae outbreaks occur.