El Hoyo de Pinares
Spain Drinking water

Spain municipality protects drinking water with MPC-Buoy

Algal blooms have recently become a major problem across Spain. Accelerated by climate change, algal blooms are harming drinking water supplies. In central Spain, 100 kilometers from Madrid, El Hoyo de Pinares experienced algal blooms in their Becedas I drinking water reservoir. This reservoir is the main drinking water supply for the entire municipal area.

Project summary


The process in the water treatment plant


Taste and odor events caused by algae growth


The town’s water supply during summer months

Las Becedas I
Las Becedas I
Las Becedas I
Las Becedas I
Las Becedas I
Las Becedas I

Taste and odor events

Excessive algae growth can trigger taste and odor problems. Giving the water an “earthy” taste and smell. Leading to complaints from the communities. José Ignacio Navas Herranz, Civil Engineer of El Hoyo de Pinares explained “The main problems surface during summer. The color, odor and taste of the water changed [due to algal blooms]. This led to serious problems in the in the filtration, because it generated saturation, loss of flow, and increased energy consumption.”

Algae action

Due to the lasting problems with algal blooms, the ministry of the presidency offered a subsidy to improve the situation. The goal was to implement an algae management system and replace the micro-filtration membranes at Becedas I. The planned interventions, beyond merely improving water quality, will increase the population’s water supply. In the summer of 2022, the LG Sonic MPC-Buoy was installed in the Las Becedas I reservoir. José explained “The installation process was a simple process, very professional, with the help of an LG Sonic technician.” Within a few hours the buoy was operational and had started transmitting algae and water quality data to LG Sonic’s water quality software MPC-View. This, in turn, allowed algae treatment to start immediately.

Spectacular improvements

Asked about the experience so far, José says “The result so far has been optimal and spectacular. The truth is last year we suffered an algal bloom for 6 months. Making operations complicated to deal with at the drinking water treatment station”. As soon as an MPC-Buoy has been installed it starts to collect algae and water quality data. This data is essential to apply the treatment strategy needed for a specific reservoir, algal groups and water conditions. LG Sonic’s ultrasound technology can be adapted to specific algal groups and water quality parameters.

“Yes, I am satisfied with the improvement, very satisfied”, José added. “This year we have completed the experience with the installation and we have verified that thanks to the application of LG Sonic we are aware of the parameters of pH, temperature, turbidity, chlorophyll, phycocyanin, dissolved oxygen, and oxygen saturation. These are essential parameters to deal with and anticipate algae blooms. Thanks to all that technology we have managed this year the reservoir has not been eutrophicated.”


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