Sometimes the solution might be right in front of us — we just have to think a little differently. And that’s exactly what one man in North Fort Myers did.
“It’s amazing how you can sometimes make a screw driver act as a hammer, so to speak,” Gary Scicluna said. “You can use something to do a totally different job then what it was intended for.”
People in Southwest Florida have been using items in their homes to build temporary solutions for keeping blue-green algae out. These items range from the nutty to the sophisticated.
Even businesses are offering inventive solutions with higher cost parts. One company found that bubble technology could be a solution for toxic blue-green algae .
Yet Scicluna’s homemade device, like many other homemade solutions, is relatively inexpensive to make. To remove blue-green algae, the product is made of a waste pump and a PVC pipe using an electrical source. It’s all put together with some glue.
But the retired hydraulic engineer is building an even bigger one to help more people.
“So I come up with different ideas to try and save people money or time,” Scicluna said. “I enjoy doing stuff like that. I like tinkering with things and finding a better way to do things.”
Scicluna’s experimental creations are practical. “If it saves me money,” he said, “then obviously that’s something that everybody would like to do.”
A neighborhood in Cape Coral also built a device to keep blue-green algae out using pool noodles, PVC pipe, a pool cage net screen and weights.
However, Scicluna believes his solution will actually prevent the algae from getting smelly because it stirs up the water. The North Fort Myers resident knows this because he has solved his own immediate problem with foul-smelling algae.
Before his creation, Scicluna was plagued with an awful smell in the canal behind his home. Whenever he walks outside, whether it be to walk to his car or picking up his mail, Scicluna would have to deal with the unbearable stench.
In addition to curing his living space from the awful smells, Scicluna worried about the longterm health effects that breathing in the odor would have on his body and his neighbors. Preventing adverse side effects of the blue-green algae was a strong motivator.
“I think once the water sits stagnant and it doesn’t have any motion, that’s when it’s turns and decays and sits there and begins to stink,” he said.
Additional reporting by Anna Kohls