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Student Finds Cure For Pool Algae

From the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology For immediate release

STUDENT FINDS CURE FOR POOL ALGAE

A University of Waikato student has developed what could be the world's first cure for blackspot algae in swimming pools. Eloise Ryan found the safe, non-chlorine solution when she was working for Hamilton pool-care company Select Chemicals Ltd. Her work was supported by Technology New Zealand's Technology for Industry Fellowships scheme, which gives students an opportunity to work with businesses. Blackspot is a harmless but unsightly algae that grows on the bottom and walls of swimming pools during summer. "It has a mucus protecting the algae underneath," Miss Ryan says. "The product penetrates the mucus and destroys the algae. My project, which combined science and technology, followed on from similar freshwater work I've studied in lakes." Miss Ryan says she has not been able to find any literature that indicates anyone else has found a cure for blackspot. The successful research project has allowed Select Chemicals to launch three new water-treatment products that include Miss Ryan's formulation.

"One new product is for ornamental fountains and water features," says manager Noel Sampson. "Many of these are owned by city councils, which means taxpayers paying for regular cleaning and scrubbing. This new product does away with the need for scrubbing and opens up a new area of business for us." He says that reformulating two of the three products will enable Select to lower production costs and remain competitive - the new formulation replaces three ingredients previously used. Mr Sampson says the project also helped his company understand the importance of research and development, and provided access to university expertise that would not otherwise be available.

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Contact: * Noel Sampson, Select Chemicals Ltd, 279 Sandwich Rd, Hamilton. Ph: (07) 849-7185. Fax: (07) 849-1031. Email: noel@sclnz.co.nz. Website: www.sclnz.co.nz * Eloise Ryan, c/- Department of Biological Sciences, University of Waikato, Hamilton. Ph: (07) 856-2889. Email: efr@waikato.ac.nz * Nigel Metge, Technology New Zealand at the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology (Auckland Office), (09) 912-6730, or 021 454-095. Website: www.technz.co.nz

Prepared on behalf of the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology by ID Communications. Contact: Ian Carson (04) 477-2525, ian@idcomm.co.nz


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