With the rapid increase in industrialization, paying attention to ecological challenges has become crucial. The waste materials and chemicals adversely affect marine life and help grow seaweeds like sargassum. In this context, the increasing amount of sargassum seaweed blob in Florida has raised alarm among marine ecologists. Slurry pumps have emerged as a game-changer to manage this challenging task of sargassum removal.
This blog post will highlight the basic definition of sargassum, its adverse effects, and how EDDY Pumps can help to remove these algae from deep sea and seashores.
To know more about the slurry pump’s application in sargassum seaweed removal, check out Eddy Pump.
Table of contents
- What is sargassum, and where is it found?
- What are the issues caused by sargassum?
- Why is pumping the best solution for sargassum removal?
- Why is EDDY Pump the best for sargassum removal?
- Key takeaways
- Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the sargassum seaweed removal process:
What is sargassum, and where is it found?
Sargassum is a large brown seaweed algae that floats in island-like masses and never clings to the seafloor. You can find messes of sargassum seaweed blobs in Florida. One can also find it in tropical and subtropical seas all around the globe. But the highest concentration of this seaweed is in the Sargasso Sea in the North Atlantic Ocean. Sargassum is an essential ecosystem as it serves as a food source and a habitat for many marine life. But its uncontrolled growth causes numerous issues in several coastal areas.
The coasts of the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Yucatan peninsula harbor an enormous amount of this brown algae. In early 2014, a massive bulk of sargassum floated to these coasts and caused severe problems. But the north of the island of Bermuda has the highest concentration of this seaweed.
What are the issues caused by sargassum?
Sargassum usually forms large mats on the ocean. When these weeds reach land, they start decomposing and generate many issues like the following:
- It is creating breeding grounds for flies and mosquitoes that increase the chances of dengue.
- They are decomposing and releasing harmful gases.
- It causes health problems like asthma, respiratory infections, and skin rashes due to long-term exposure.
- Entangling fish, dolphins, and sea turtles in the thick algae mats and their bodies washing up on shore add to the existing health hazards.
- Prevention of photosynthesis and suffocation of animals due to the thick membrane of floating roots, reduction in oxygen absorbed by the plants as sunlight is unable to reach the seabed.
- Due to underwater oxygen deficiency, it is causing the tragic extinction of coral species throughout the Mexican Caribbean and the Mesoamerican Reef System.
Sargassum removal process
Why is pump-based seaweed removal an ideal solution?
Pumping devices are one of the most efficient methods for clearing sargassum off beaches. The sargassum is sucked up by solid slurry pumps and taken to a landfill for disposal.
Sargassum removal pumping systems fall into two categories:
- Onshore systems: Onshore systems are equipped with pumps to remove seaweeds from the sea and are thus positioned on the beach. The waste is subsequently taken to an ocean or land landfill for disposal. While onshore systems are a cost-effective seaweed removal process, the volume they pump at once is inadequate.
- Offshore systems: Offshore sargassum mitigation systems are placed in the ocean and employ pumps to collect sargassum from the water surface. Once the algae have been loaded into a barge or other floating vessel, it is taken to a landfill for disposal. Although the operational costs of offshore systems are higher that the other system, these are suitable for removing larger volumes of sargassum.
Benefits and challenges of using pumps for seaweed removal
Environmental-friendly seaweed removal through pumping systems has many benefits and challenges.
Compared to alternative techniques of sargassum mitigation, pumping systems have several benefits, such as being:
- particularly effective in removing vast quantities of sargassum
- usable in a wide range of water depths
- relatively simple to run
Difficulties with Industrial pumping systems
- high cost of maintenance and operation
- potential for seafloor damage; and
- emission of toxic gases during sargassum decomposition.
Check out our other blogs to learn more about efficient sargassum removal.
Why is EDDY Pump the best for sargassum removal?
Removing sargassum is a slow and costly process. Moreover, it is a laborious task that needs to be done continuously in an unhealthy condition.
EDDY Pump products make it easy and inexpensive to clear seaweeds from the sea. The robust rotor generates an eddy current like a tornado, which suctions dense masses of sargassum directly from the water quickly, efficiently, and cost-effectively.
EDDY Pumps’ self-priming feature gives you more options because they can be moved around easily and put on a trailer, barge, or skid. Moreover, the powerful products can carry the weeds up to 300 meters / 1,000 feet without booster pumps. Email EDDY Pump or call us at 619-558-3250.
Request a free sales quote, and our team will connect with you.
Removing seaweeds is necessary to keep balance in the ecosystem. EDDY Pumps’ efficient solutions and a wide range of products are suitable for controlling sargassum from deep sea and seashore. Moreover, the powerful products pump the waste far away from human reach, maintaining hygiene and sanitation.
EDDY Pump also offers additional attachments like custom guide rods, hose handles, or floating skimmers to make the work easier. The brand’s self-priming pump Eddy current pumps offer an efficient alternative to manual labor.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the sargassum seaweed removal process
FAQ-1: What is sargassum, and what are the effects of sargassum on marine ecosystems?
Sargassum is a species of big brown seaweed (algae) that forms floating islands of mass. Its greatest concentration is in the Sargasso Sea, although it can also be found in other tropical and subtropical seas.
Some of its effects on marine ecosystems include:
- Blockage of sunlight
- Harmful to marine life due to decreased oxygen levels
- Increased erosion on beaches and shorelines
- Alter nutrient cycling within marine ecosystems.
FAQ-2: What are the different methods of sargassum removal?
Sargassum can be removed from beaches in several ways. The processes depend on the seaweed’s density, the size of the affected region, and the accessibility of relevant tools and equipment. Some common methods are:
- Mechanical removal of sargassum with the help of heavy machinery, such as pumps, excavators or loaders.
- Installing floating barriers or booms in the water offshore
- Removing weeds manually
- Beach clean-up volunteers
Out of these, pumps are the best methods of seaweed removal due to numerous benefits
FAQ-3: What are the different types of mechanical sargassum management equipment?
Various mechanical seaweed removal equipment has been developed to deal with the problem of seaweed, such as sargassum. Some typical examples of mechanical seaweed removal tools are as follows:
- Excavators and loaders
- Beach cleaning machines with conveyor belts, sifters, and sieves
- Tractors with mechanical raking machines:
- Beach vacuum cleaners
- Floating barrier systems:
FAQ-4: How do I choose the right mechanical seaweed removal equipment?
You must check several aspects before selecting the right equipment for sargassum removal from the deep sea or seashore. Here are some noteworthy points to keep in mind.
- Scale of the work
- Density and thickness of the seaweed
- Accessibility and terrain
- Environmental considerations
- Available resources and budget
- Take expert advice
FAQ-5: How do I maintain mechanical seaweed removal equipment?
To ensure the efficient operation of your pump-based seaweed removal equipment, you must perform regular maintenance activities. Below are the best practices that keep your machine healthy
- Regular cleaning
- Proper lubrication
- Regular inspection and preventive maintenance
- Replacing damaged parts regularly
- Maintenance of electrical systems
- Handling by certified operators only
- Proper storage