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Many forms of algae are non-toxic and are critical to the life of freshwater. Thousands of species of invertebrates and fish depend on the algae. But when water gets too hot, deoxygenated or nutrient rich, "blue-green algae" which is a bacteria, can start to dominate the ecology of a lake.
Laboratory Testing and Safety Data Sheets (SDS)
Cyano-toxin Test Kit - Summary
The Abraxis freshwater test kits cover three purposes, 1) testing of unfiltered drinking water, 2) testing of filtered drinking water (non-chlorinated), and finally 3) testing of recreational water (bathing / swimming).
Once you have decided what type of water you want to test, the second decision is whether you want a "stand-by monitoring" kit or a "weekly monitoring" kit.
The "stand-by" kit consists of five test kits and allows the user to test as and when the need arises. This is ideal for occasional events, checking key periods in the year, or double checking watering points.
The "weekly monitoring" kit consists of 20 test kits. The water is tested weekly during the algae season or bathing water season. This is typically 20 weeks from mid May until the end of September. Algae Blooms can occur in October, but an additional "stand-by kit" can be purchased if required.
The tests can be undertaken on site and take 70-80 minutes to complete. Site staff need to follow the step by step instructions to complete the test and then record presence or absence of cyano-toxins.
The Abraxis test kit is aimed at identifying the most common cyano-toxin in UK freshwater, namely Microcystins-LR and Anatoxin-a.
The total Microcystins test kit including a process to rupture the algae cells and ensure that total levels of toxins are determined. This processing is called Lysing and the test is therefore compliant with Microcystins-LR determination.
Another test kit for Cylindrospermopsin is available, but this is a less common cyano-toxins. If your site is heavily used and Microcystins are detected, then we would recommend upgrading your testing to include the other types of cyano-toxins test kits.
The test kits last for one year, after which time the active reagents degrade. Unused kits will need to be replaced.
These rapid test are undertaken onsite, by your team, and give rapid feedback on the status of your site's water.
Stand-by - 5 Test Kits
Cyano-toxin Safety Limits
Threshold levels for cyano-toxins in drinking water or recreational water have been established by a variety of organisations, in the UK the Environment Agency, NRW, SEPA and the DWI set the standards.
What to do if your water is cyano-toxic?
Weekly Monitoring - 20 Test Kits
Learn more about blue-green algae
The Abraxis test kits present a major advancement in onsite testing, but the tests do not negate the need for routine monitoring of a lake or water supply. Recording water temperature, pH and dissolved oxygen levels with simple digital probes often gives valuable warnings of sudden changes in a lake that could proceed an algae bloom.
The Abraxis test kits are extremely accurate based on tests undertaken by US-EPA, Canadian EPA and New Zealand NIWA. If a lake or water supply is contaminated with cyano-toxins, additional laboratory testing may be required by the regulator, especially when they need to issue an "all clear" notice for the site.
If your test strip result is over the safety levels, firstly well done, you know you have a potential safety issue and can now act to protect water consumers and users. The following generic advice is based on UK guidance.
Microcystin-LR and Anatoxin-a are the two most likely cyano-toxins in UK inland waters.
The process of collecting water samples is straight forward. If you are collecting and testing filtered water, the process is simplified, but taking a clean water sample from the lake is sometimes not so straight forward. Advice is given on water sampling and on the measurement of cyano-toxins in the following method sheets.
From £24.00 per test
11th Nov 2016
$:£ Rate Variable
From £17.10 per test
11th Nov 2016
$:£ Rate Variable