algae bloom monitoring networkWhen the tourist season heats up in northeastern Oklahoma each year, the number of people flocking to Grand Lake o’ the Cherokees puts its population high enough to compete with that of larger cities in the state, including Oklahoma City and Tulsa. All the swimming, fishing and boating that goes on means there is a lot of primary body contact with the lake’s water.

Because of that, as well as growing national interest in protecting the water quality of freshwater lakes in the face of harmful algal blooms that are occurring more commonly, officials with the Oklahoma Water Resources Board plan to deploy several data buoys to form an algae bloom monitoring network. Plans are to launch the platforms in fall 2015 and cover all four corners of the lake.

Project managers with the Oklahoma Water Resources Board worked with NexSens Technology to source four MB-300 (legacy model) data buoys for the small algae bloom monitoring network they are building. Since the MB-300 design has been replaced by the CB-450, officials with the Resources Board were able to secure the buoys at a discounted price.

Buoys for better data

algae bloom monitoring network

Each MB-300 data buoy features an internal chamber that holds a NexSens Submersible Data Logger. These are equipped with cellular telemetry so that data can be transmitted in real time to monitoring specialists with the Resources Board. Power for the loggers and other equipment comes from three 5-watt solar panels on the topside of each buoy.

Beneath each MB-300, deployed securely in a 6 inch-diameter pipe, will sit a YSI 6600 Multi-Parameter Water Quality Sonde. The sondes support sensors for measuring temperature, conductivity, pH, dissolved oxygen, chlorophyll and blue-green algae and report their measurements to onboard data loggers.

There are a lot of plans for the data. The Resources Board will rely on the information to gauge when it is necessary to close beaches to visitors, but data will also serve a purpose in the board’s annual reports on water quality. The University of Oklahoma, as well as Oklahoma State University, plan to use the algae bloom monitoring network data to embark on and continue other studies into lake algae.

Photo courtesy of JDMcGreg


NexSens CB-450 Data Buoy

The NexSens CB-450 Data Buoy is designed for deployment in lakes, rivers, coastal waters, harbors, estuaries and other freshwater or marine environments.

The YSI EXO represents the next generation of water quality instruments from YSI. The EXO2 sonde includes six sensor ports and a central anti-fouling wiper option.