When water is impounded in a reservoir it usually becomes infested with algae. 'While not poisonous many of these algae impart disagreeable odors or tastes to the water, making it undesirable for drinking purposes. When the Croton dam was built as a part of the New York City water supply system, the water in the reservoir behind it became contaminated with algae. Upon the recommendation of Karl F. Kellerman, whose father, Professor Kellerman of Ohio State University, first noted the toxic effect of copper on algae, the water was treated with copper sulfate. This was effective and is being used quite generally in water reservoirs. The usual procedure is to place crystalline copper sulfate in a burlap bag attached by a rope to a boat and draw it back and forth slowly through the water. It must be done at the proper speed to produce the correct concentration necessary to kill the algae without killing the fish or making the water impotable.
Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science
©1941 Iowa Academy of Science, Inc.
Sweeney, O. R. and Fife, O. G.
"A Method of Maintaining the Proper Copper Concentration in the Treatment of Water,"
Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science, 48(1), 259-262.
Available at: https://scholarworks.uni.edu/pias/vol48/iss1/57