Cyanobacterial blooms degrade water quality in drinking water supply reservoirs by producing toxic and taste-and-odor causing secondary metabolites, which ultimately cause public health concerns and lead to increased treatment costs for water utilities. There have been numerous attempts to create models that predict cyanobacteria and their secondary metabolites, most using linear models; however, linear models are limited by assumptions about the data and have had limited success as predictive tools. Thus, lake and reservoir managers need improved modeling techniques that can accurately predict large bloom events that have the highest impact on recreational activities and drinking-water treatment processes. In this study, we compared 12 unique linear and nonlinear regression modeling techniques to predict cyanobacterial abundance and the cyanobacterial secondary metabolites microcystin and geosmin using 14 years of physiochemical water quality data collected from Cheney Reservoir, Kansas. Support vector machine (SVM), random forest (RF), boosted tree (BT), and Cubist modeling techniques were the most predictive of the compared modeling approaches. SVM, RF, and BT modeling techniques were able to successfully predict cyanobacterial abundance, microcystin, and geosmin concentrations <60,000 cells/mL, 2.5 µg/L, and 20 ng/L, respectively. Only Cubist modeling predicted maxima concentrations of cyanobacteria and geosmin; no modeling technique was able to predict maxima microcystin concentrations. Because maxima concentrations are a primary concern for lake and reservoir managers, Cubist modeling may help predict the largest and most noxious concentrations of cyanobacteria and their secondary metabolites.
Additional publication details
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Predicting cyanobacterial abundance, microcystin, and geosmin in a eutrophic drinking-water reservoir using a 14-year dataset|
|Series title||Lake and Reservoir Management|
|Publisher||Informa UK Limited|
|Contributing office(s)||Kansas Water Science Center|
|Other Geospatial||Cheney Reservoir|