Lee County is switching up its method for blue-green algae cleanup . It’s saying goodbye to the pilot program with the company AECOM and hello to the nano-bubble technology.
That’s because the county is saying the thick, matted algae blooms are pretty much gone.
“The conditions have improved,” assistant county manager Dave Harner said. “We have seen the algae dissipate, the whole goal behind this process was to alleviate or provide relief to the community from the nasty, smelly blue-green algae.”
Since the pilot program was launched in August, AECOM crews have scooped up more than 400,000 gallons from 23 sites. More than $2 million in funding has been allocated to Lee County for the blue-green algae battle since early August.
Lee County hasn't disclosed the amount of funding it has put-to-work by having AECOM, a multinational engineering firm headquartered in Los Angeles, California, facilitate part of the blue-green algae cleanup.
“I believe at the end of the day it provided a relief to those members of the community that couldn’t stay in their homes because of the smell or because of the respiratory issues,” Harner said. “We were able to alleviate that. That was a benefit to our community.”
AECOM will continue processing the collections they’ve made and the county said the nano-bubble technology will start next week.
“This technology is inviting to us because it treats in place," Roland Ottolini said, natural resources director. "It actually treats the water, treats the algae in place and you can return that water right back into the canal versus sending it off to be treatment plant somewhere."
The nano-bubble technology is fiscally advantageous for Lee County tax payers, being free and effective. Its planning on using booms to section off areas they will be testing and treating.
Cape Coral neighbors create innovative algae solution months ago! These residents, who were lead by Margaret and Thomas Krym, banded together using homemade booms from pool noodles to keep fowl smelling blue-green algae out of their space.
The booms have two feet of pool cage screen sewn together into a single panel. It is weighted down with dive weights. The top of the screen on the booms has a sleeve, which is slid onto a 90-foot length of PVC pipe.
The state and county will continue monitoring the blue-green algae conditions. If the conditions surrounding this persistent environmental problem changes, options will be reviewed.