Diatom analysis of the water quality of Brussels canal

Do you know what diatoms are? These are brown-yellow microscopic algae with a siliceous hull, you can find them in every body of water. We collected these algae on two spots of the Canal and they were analysed by the Belgian Algae expert Louis Leclercq to determine the biological quality of the water.

74 different types of diatoms were identified. You can admire the beauty of them all 74 in the pictures taken by the microscope. You will see round diatoms, typical for still water, and elongated diatoms, typical for streams. The weak current of the canal explains this mixed composition.

The water at the upstream point shows a moderate organic pollution and a moderate eutrophication. The downstream point on the other hand shows a very strong organic pollution concluding that between the 2 points polluted water is dumped in the canal.

There are still different places where sewage water is dumped in the canal. Lots of effort is needed to obtain a canal with clean water.

Click here to download the report (in French).