Carbon 101Water TreatmentCyanotoxin Removal from Drinking Water

The issue of cyanotoxins in drinking water, while not new, has increased in visibility and importance over the last few years.  Jacobi offers a variety of products in our AquaSorb™ family of carbons to help water utilities deal with this challenge.

Formed by a combination of weather conditions, agricultural runoff, and other factors, harmful algal blooms (or HABs) or cyanobacteria have become an annual occurrence in certain water supplies in recent years, and their metabolites, known as cyanotoxins, are released into water during cell lysis, either by natural death and decay, by chemical oxidation or by friction.  Over 100 species of cyanotoxins have been identified and classified to date; some of the more common forms are microcystin, saxitoxin, and cylindrospermopsin.

Due to their toxic effects, cyanotoxins have been the subject of regulatory attention for many years.  While a national standard by US EPA is not in place, some individual states have implemented guidelines for cyanotoxins.  Also, the state of Ohio began required monitoring for cyanotoxins by all water utilities using surface water in June 2016 in response to recent cyanotoxin issues within the state.  With all these factors in mind, dealing with cyanotoxin issues will likely grow in importance in the future.

Activated carbon is one technology, commonly used by many water utilities, that can aid in the control of cyanotoxins.  Numerous studies on both powdered activated carbon (PAC) and granular activated carbon (GAC) have taken place in recent years.  Most cyanotoxin species (including microcystin) favor meso/macroporous carbons for removal, while a few species (saxitoxin) favor more microporous carbons.  

Jacobi’s recommended carbon products for cyanotoxin removal include the following:

Carbon Type PAC Grades GAC Grades
Meso / Macroporous AquaSorb™ CB1-MW

AquaSorb™ G9

AquaSorb™ 1500

AquaSorb™ 5000

Microporous AquaSorb™ CP1 AquaSorb™ CX

To learn more and review performance data for Jacobi products for cyanotoxin removal, please contact your Jacobi sales

representative or visit our ‘contact us’ page on the Jacobi website (

Click the button below to download a Jacobi Technical Bulletin for more information on drinking water filtration.


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