Barley Straw for Algae Control


Barley straw has been used for many years for the control of algal growth in the fresh water systems of the UK. If used correctly it can be an excellent tool in the control of algae bloom formation. Mixed results have been reported on its use and while some swear by its effectiveness, others insist that it makes the algae problems worse. The Centre for Ecology and Hydrology have reported that certain conditions must be present for the effective use of barley straw. When these conditions are not provided then often the barley straw will make the problem worse.

Required Conditions

The required conditions for the successful control of algae by barley straw are:

  • Adequate water temperature (ideally above 8oC).
  • Adequate sunlight (barley straw bale held near the water's surface)
  • Aerobic conditions
  • Relatively low bale density (to allow the reasonable passage of light, water and air).

When these conditions are supplied the barley straw should generate the compounds that are thought to inhibit algal growth, without giving off unpleasant odours.

As a company we have designed barley bales and reactor equipment to allow end users to easily meet these conditions and spread the active compounds throughout the waterbody.

We are currently undertaking a re-branding exercise including products such as barley straw booms.

These products will be returned to the website and shop before the Spring to ensure that your algae problems can be controlled before a bloom is formed.

Commercial barley straw boom module

Barley boom algal control