July 16, 2019
Plumatella is one of a number of species of bryozoans commonly found in Australian waters. Freshwater bryozoans have all the characteristics of persistent foulers. They can grow on all kinds of surfaces, including docks, boats, pipes and walls. As a consequence, they may become a considerable nuisance in any system that uses raw water: irrigation, wastewater treatment, industrial cooling, and aquaculture. While bryozoans are non-toxic and do not pose a health risk to humans or animals, they do grow quickly. In the right conditions they can double in size in a week, and thus can clog pipes and filters very quickly. A variety of responses have been tried and used in different settings.
Water Rsearch Australia has recently released a fact sheet on these common aquatic organisms Bryozoans in Freshwater: Science and Management. The fact sheet provides practical, useful information and advice covering; characteristics, reproduction and growth, identification, problems caused and management responses. A number of these responses are outlined in the fact sheet including; physical removal, filtration, chemical treatment with bleach, ultra-sonication, and ultra-violet light, as well as their relative effectiveness.
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