Back to Newsroom
Back to Newsroom

U.S. GAO Pressures NOAA and EPA for Swift Action to Control Harmful Algal Blooms

Thursday, August 11, 2022 1:45 PM
LG Sonic

With over 10,000 Chemical-Free Ultrasonic Algae Mitigation Deployments in 59 Countries Worldwide, Award-Winning Dutch Innovator LG Sonic is Poised to be the Solution

SCRANTON, PA / ACCESSWIRE / August 11, 2022 / In the United States, harmful algal blooms (HABs) are swiftly becoming one of the nation's most extensive and least addressed public health risks. The U.S. is not alone in that - every country on the planet is now impacted by an epidemic of HAB's, accelerated by climate change. Harmful algal blooms are the source of potent neurotoxins, dispersed both in the water and in the air. These "cyanotoxins" can cause rapid death and permanent injury as well as long-term neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS / Lou Gehrig's disease). A toddler can sustain permanent liver damage from just five accidental swallows of water. Even if the algal blooms don't reach the stage of cyanotoxin release, they still create a condition called "hypoxia" in which the imbalance of excess algae deplete the water's oxygen, triggering mass aquatic -animal deaths.

More than 20 years after Congress formed a dedicated interagency task force in 1998 which pooled the resources of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) - the U.S. has failed to launch any proactive efforts to combat the toxic freshwater blooms. Besides severe health issues for humans and wildlife in the vicinity, HAB's cause an estimated $82 million in economic losses annually in the U.S. and threaten drinking water supplies, commercial and recreational fisheries.

Seeking answers for the two-decade delay, Congress requested an investigation by the General Accounting Office (GAO), which delivered its findings in June. The GAO's critical report called on NOAA and the EPA to rapidly implement concrete measures to address the environmental scourge.

Some of the GAO's directives practically read like a sales brochure outlining the functions of a device called the "MPC-Buoy," which is made by Netherlands-based LG Sonic, the world's leading innovator of algae mitigation:

  • Expand monitoring of freshwater HABs and hypoxia.
  • Expand forecasting of freshwater HABs and hypoxia.
  • Develop a comprehensive body of information on the costs and benefits of mitigation, control, and prevention actions for use by state, local, and tribal governments.

LG Sonic's MPC-Buoy (Monitor, Predict, Control) is a weather-impervious, solar-powered, sensor-rich and AI-driven high-tech weapon against algae. It works by bombarding the algae cells with ultrasonic pulses which essentially suspend them in a "force field," paralyzing their buoyancy regulation, starving them of nourishment and efficiently killing them before they reach the bloom stage to release toxins or trigger hypoxia. All without the collateral damage caused by traditional chemical methods or older ultrasonic techniques.

For years, algae control meant the large-scale application of chemicals, typically copper sulfate, which builds up in the environment and is itself toxic. As an attempted alternative, some years ago ultrasonic systems were developed which use brute force to burst the algal cells. And while that method does kill the algae, it nevertheless releases the cyanotoxins contained in the cells in addition to killing nearly every other beneficial microbiotic lifeform in the water - which can ironically trigger even more algal blooms as the environment's balance swings wildly. LG Sonic's mitigation technique is completely safe for fish, plants, and other aquatic life. It is also more efficient than older ultrasonic technology, with each buoy effective within a 2,600 ft. radius (800m) compared with less than half that radius for other ultrasonic methods - meaning greater coverage for less investment.

Founded in 2011, LG Sonic's unique approach to ultrasound technology has been proven successful in more than 10,000 deployments throughout 59 countries, where they've protected drinking water reservoirs, industrial cooling ponds, recreational fishing lakes, and irrigation systems. The company even holds the record for the world's largest ultrasonic algae mitigation project at the Dominican Republic's 1,739 acre Valdesia Reservoir, primary source of drinking water for the two million residents of the country's capital, Santo Domingo. Its installations in the United States include numerous projects with American Water, the country's largest and most geographically diverse publicly traded drinking water and wastewater utility company.

"We see ourselves as the "Google of Water,'" said LG Sonic founder and CEO Yousef Yousef in reference to their massive, unparalleled trove of data. "In a decade of field deployments on nearly every continent, we've gathered over a billion data points from 24/7 monitoring in every type of environment and every season. Applying our algorithms and AI analysis of weather forecasts combined with live satellite data from NASA we can now accurately predict algal blooms up to six days before they happen. In response the MPC buoy automatically adjusts its variables as needed to prevent that, and can even identify and adjust to combat the different species of algae suspended in the water."

A Syrian refugee who resettled with his family in the Netherlands at age 12, the 38-year-old Yousef Yousef has been recognized by a number of global organizations. Most recently he was selected by the World Economic Forum for its Young Global Leaders Program, an "accelerator for a dynamic community of exceptional people with the vision, courage, and influence to drive positive change in the world." He also serves as a board member of the European Innovation Council (EIC) and since 2018 has been chairman of the VNO-NCW (Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers) network Groene Groeiers, which encompasses over 400 green tech scale-up companies and professionals to accelerate the Netherlands' transition to a green economy.

As LG Sonic advances its work in the United States - in 2018 the company opened a satellite office in Scranton, PA - it's worth noting that besides its effectiveness and environmentally-safe approach to algae mitigation, thousands of real-life applications have proven that the MPC-Buoys pay for themselves within about 18 months through the cost savings of eliminating chemicals.

LG Sonic, Thursday, August 11, 2022, Press release picture


Based in the Netherlands, LG Sonic is the world's leader in ultrasonic algae remediation. Since 2011, LG Sonic's flagship product, the MPC-Buoy (Monitor, Predict, Control), has been deployed in more than 10,000 bodies of water in 55 countries, treating municipal, industrial and recreational lakes, reservoirs and ponds. The MPC-Buoy is a weather-impervious, solar-powered, sensor-rich and AI-driven weapon against harmful algal blooms which kills algae and cyanobacteria without chemicals and without releasing toxins while remaining safe for aquatic fish, plants and beneficial microbiotica. Drawing from a decade of data combined with real-time self-contained local monitoring and satellite data, each LG Sonic MPC-Buoy can predict algal blooms up to six days before they happen and automatically adjust its variables to prevent them.


Matt Kalinowski
LG Sonic
(503) 333-2049
[email protected]


Product Announcements
Back to newsroom
Back to Newsroom