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News article created on 6 November 2014

Sonic buster zaps nuisance Wiltshire algae

A sun-powered sonic algal buster is being installed this week to help rid the Kennet & Avon Canal of troublesome algae.

We're installing the new contraption into Wilton Water near Crofton. The solar powered device works by sending out sonic sound waves into the water to burst algal cells. This prevents a green carpet from taking over the reservoir, stopping sunlight from getting to the animals and plants that rely on it below the waterline.

Our team of environmental specialists and volunteers will be carrying out the work, which should support local wildlife such as dragonflies, water boatmen and backswimmers, water birds such as kingfishers and swans and fish like pike, roach and perch.

Crucial supply of water

Wilton Water lies just off the beautiful Kennet & Avon Canal, below the historic Crofton Steam Pumps, and provides a crucial supply of water to the canal, so that boats can continue to navigate eastwards, all the way to Reading.

Oda Dijksterhuis, environment manager at the Canal & River Trust, said: “Wilton Water is a vital reservoir, both because of the water it provides to keep the Kennet & Avon Canal working and the wildlife it supports. The solar-powered sonic algal buster is going to be vital in getting rid of some of the algae on the reservoir.

"These algae are a natural occurrence, but the nutrients in the water and warmer weather during the summer caused a real growth spurt. This work is important because it creates better light and air conditions for under water wildlife by preventing the build-up of a thick carpet of algae on the water.”