Florida fights algae bloom with LG Sonic 'green' technologies
LG Sonic together with Lake St. Charles Community Development District (CDD) and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) started an algae bloom mitigation project on Lake St. Charles (Riverview, FL). The 'green' approach was chosen to increase the water quality in the big lake and is designed to work in harmony with the ecosystem and local community.
Lake St. Charles is a valued feature of the community and a hypereutrophic headwater for the Archie Creek watersheds, connecting to Tampa Bay. The new project involves the installation of eco-friendly ultrasonic technologies that do not harm the environment unlike traditional algae treatments, which can lead to copper build-up in the sediment and result in a lack of beneficial bacteria in the water.
The Project’s innovative combination of green technologies was selected for treatment durability and cost effectiveness in contrast with dredging the lake. There are four technology components to the project that will be sequentially introduced approximately every 3 months. The first implementation are the two LG Sonic solar powered buoys that are now positioned on the lake. This technology is used around the world to chemically free control algae in water bodies used for human consumption. This is only the second use of this technology in the state of Florida.
Mark Cooper, Property Manager at Lake St. Charles CDD and Landscape Architect, said: “I knew that this project aligned with our goals of becoming a resilient, greener and more sustainable community. Especially since it would dramatically improve the water quality in the community’s 69-acre focal point and namesake Lake St Charles.”
He added: “With global temperatures rising and the fact that our lake is only 9 feet deep at its deepest I also anticipated that algae in the lake would become an ever increasing and costly problem to deal with.”
Harmful algae blooms (HABs) are a growing environmental concern, affecting all parts of the world. Excessive nutrient pollution entering water bodies, especially phosphorus and nitrogen, fuel the proliferation of HABs. These blooms can cause serious illnesses in humans, animals, and fish, degrade water quality, and result in foul taste and smell.
Two ultrasonic devices (MPC-Buoys) manufactured by Dutch company LG Sonic were deployed earlier in July. These devices combine real-time water quality monitoring, a web-based software, and ultrasound to combat algae blooms. The MPC-Buoys emit low-power ultrasound into the water, creating a sound wave in the top water layer, impacting algae’s buoyancy. The algae then sink to the deeper layers of the water column, where they can’t access sunlight anymore. They decompose over time without releasing toxins into the water. This technology is safe for humans, fish, and plants.
The project began on July 1st, 2021, and will end on October 1st, 2022. The technologies, if effective, could also be implemented in neighboring contaminated waters.