Evaluation of a low cost technology to manage algal toxins
in rural water supplies
G. K,1 Gumbo,
J. R.,2* Oberholster,
of Ecology & Resources Management, University of Venda, P
Bag x5050, Thohoyandou, 0950, South Africa.
of Hydrology and Water Resources, University of Venda, P Bag
x5050, Thohoyandou, 0950, South Africa.
Natural Resources and the Environment, P.O. Box 395,
Pretoria, 0001, South Africa.
Tel: +27 15 962 8563. Fax: +27 15 962 8597.
Accepted 25 November, 2011
South Africa is a water scarce country with freshwater
resources that are deteriorating mostly due to anthropogenic
activities. Several dams in South Africa are eutrophic and
present potential health risks to water consumers and users.
Cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) are known to produce toxins
that present a threat to human health and wildlife. In this
review, a low technology method that can be applied to the
management of rural water supplies that are contaminated
with algal toxins such as microcystins is examined. The
method uses aquatic macrophytes. The bioaccumulation
potential of some aquatic macrophytes (the ‘Green liver’
concept) has commonly been applied in the phytoremediation
of polluted water bodies. The use of aquatic macrophytes in
the in-situ bioremediation of algal toxins can offer
numerous advantages, among them; the ability to treat large
areas and low costs. The main objective of this review
to assess the feasibilty of using selected species of
naturally occurring aquatic macrophytes and their
effectiveness in cyanotoxin elimination by using their
bioaccumulation potential from raw surface water collected
from rivers in Limpopo province, South Africa for the
in-situ bioremediation of the polluted water.
microcystins, bio-accumulation, in-situ bioremediation,
aquatic macrophytes, Green liver concept.