FUTURISTIC technology is being used to kill off algae at an East Dorset reservoir.

Sembcorp Bournemouth Water (SBW) has installed an ultrasonic algae control system at Longham Lakes.

The system, supplied by Dutch company LG Sound, is used widely in mainland Europe but is the first to be installed by an English water company.

It uses underwater sound waves on scientifically proven frequencies to eliminate common algae, including toxic blue-green algae.

The ultrasonic waves 'pop' the air bubbles in the algae causing it to lose buoyancy and sink to the bottom of the lake and die.

The environmentally-friendly system is run on solar energy, requires no chemicals and has no harmful effects for fish, water plants and insects. Tim Latcham, head of water supply, said the system was installed in February and had been fully operational since March.

“It’s early days and we haven’t hit the peak time for algae but following the first significant outbreak, we’ve already seen a dramatic reduction which is very encouraging,” he said.