Algae prevention strategy in Lake Welch, New York
After dealing with Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) in recent summers, the New York State Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation decided on a new approach at Lake Welch, applying a new algae prevention strategy. The strategy’s key deployment is the MPC-Buoy, a technology offering proven eco-friendly algal bloom control developed by Dutch enterprise LG Sonic.
Lake Welch, Harriman State Park’s largest swimming beach, spanning 216 acres, draws thousands of weekend visitors. A dangerous and giant algae bloom wiped out most of the season at popular Lake Welch. These HABs pose a serious health risk to people and pets. Coming into contact with HABs can lead to severe allergic reactions or breathing difficulties.
“State officials considered using a peroxide-based algaecide“, Gabriella Cebada Mora, director of the environmental stewardship and planning division for New York State Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation, said. “But supply chain issues and the sheer volume of the lake shut down that idea”, she added.
Focus on prevention
To prevent HABs from invading Lake Welch again next summer, the non-profit engaged LG Sonic to install three ultrasonic buoys in the lake in August 2022. The buoys use the latest innovations in water quality monitoring to monitor and predict algal blooms. As Cebada Mora confirms, this technique is primarily preventative in nature, often used before an algal bloom takes hold.
The sound waves prevent the algae from rising to the water’s surface, preventing their growth. However, this is done without affecting other underwater life.
Warmer summers, more HABs
Furthermore, the state has recently seen higher nutrient concentrations that feed large algal blooms, according to the Department of Environmental Conservation. Fueled by climate change, HABs are more likely to occur as temperatures rise during summer and early fall. In this way, warmer water allows microscopic organisms to move through more easily, in turn allowing algae to float to the surface more quickly.