Based on the Internet research below conducted by the manufacture, Black Berkey™ element microbe and organic chemical removal test data, along with information provided by the EPA in their reference material cited below; these all suggest that Berkey® water purification systems should be extremely effective at removing and reducing contaminates resulting from algae blooms. The manufacture highly recommends that whenever possible, the cleanest source water available should always be utilized.
*Note: Below the manufacture will be referred to as NMCL (New Millennium Concepts Ltd.)
Below is further information that might be helpful in regards to algae blooms:
“…Cyanobacterial cells range in size from 0.5-1 μm to 40 μm in diameter…”
In other words, it’s a long skinny bacteria.
Internet research seems to indicate that Microcystin colonies are even larger, typically on the scale of 50 to over 100 micrometers in size.
While there has not been a specific test for microbes associated with Algae Blooms, there has been testing for pathogenic bacteria and two viruses, which are a small fraction of the size of these microbes which are removed.
To understand the difference between the size of pathogenic bacteria and viruses, we suggest the following web link as it will give you a great visual of the difference. The University of Utah Cell Size and Scale Chart: http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/cells/scale/
Slide the scale at the bottom to see the size of virus vs bacteria vs other potential contaminates and magnify to greater levels.
Black Berkey™ purification elements have been tested to remove both pathogenic bacteria and viruses to greater than the EPA purification standards. This suggests that larger bacteria, such as cyanobacteria, should also be effectively removed. Without test data on that specific microbe however, NMCL does not make that specific claim.
The MS-2 virus is 24-26 nm in size.
The Fr Coliphage virus is 25nm in size.
In other words, they are much smaller than Cyanobateria.
Additionally Microcystins, which are the chemical contaminates resulting from cyanobacteria are an organic chemical. Testing of Black Berkey™ elements has demonstrated they are extremely efficient at removing organic chemicals.
The EPA defines Microcystins as: “…toxins produced by cyanobacteria. Cyanobacteria are also known as blue-green algae and are ubiquitous in surface water when conditions are favorable for growth and formation of algal blooms. Cyanobacteria release toxins upon cell death or lysis. When released, toxins may persist for weeks to months. Toxins of most concern are microcystins. Microcystins take their name from the genera Microcystis. Most microcystins are hepatotoxins (liver toxins). Hepatotoxins are produced by species of the genera Microcystis, Anabena, Nodularia, Oscillatoria among others. Most microcystins areassociated with Microcystis aeruginosa. While the liver is the primary target of microcystins, it is also a skin, eye and throat irritant…”
Further, the EPA states that: “…The following processes are considered effective for the removal/oxidation of microcystin:…. powdered activated carbon (up to 100% for some microcystins but less so for others), granular activated carbon (time-dependent from 100% near start up to 38 to 73% at 3.5 months…”
Reference: http://iaspub.epa.gov/tdb/pages/contaminant/contaminantOverview.do?contaminantId=-1336577584 (Click on the “Treatment Process” tab)
Finally, the EPA states that: “…Removal of total microcystins, M-LR, and M-LA, in water by granular activated carbon (GAC) can be very effective where the effectiveness is based on the empty bed contact time, the carbon’s age, and possible biodegradation of the toxin. Time-dependent monitoring in a full-scale plant ranged 43 to 60 percent removal for M-LR. Time-dependent monitoring in pilot-scale studies ranged from greater than 99 percent at one month to 73 percent at 3.5 months for M-LR, and from greater than 99 percent at one month to 38 percent at 3.5 months for M-LA…”
REFERENCE: http://iaspub.epa.gov/tdb/pages/contaminant/contaminantOverview.do?contaminantId=-1336577584 (Click on the “Treatment Process” Tab, scroll down to “Granular Activated Carbon” and click on the link)