Innovative algal bloom treatment pilot project gets under way at Lake Minneola

Tree standing in front of Lake Minneola

Lake Minneola

Tree standing in front of Lake Minneola

Lake Minneola

Water quality monitoring starts this week

PALATKA, Fla., Nov. 3, 2020 — An innovative project to fight algal blooms in Lake Minneola is getting under way this week with water quality monitoring. Lake Minneola, which has been plagued with blue-green algae, or cyanobacteria, was selected earlier this year for a pilot remediation project to combat harmful algal blooms.

“We look forward to seeing results from this innovative project as we work to discover new remedies to our water quality challenges,” said St. Johns River Water Management District Executive Director Dr. Ann Shortelle. “With Gov. DeSantis’ commitment and the state’s investment, we can continue pursuing science-based strategies to tackle algal blooms and nutrient reduction in our waterways.”

Funding for the $1.7 million project comes from a 2020 legislative appropriation providing grant funding through the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Office of Water Policy and Ecosystem Project’s Innovative Grant Program. The program funds innovative technology projects to test new processes for dealing with water quality challenges.

Using a combination of collected field data, water samples and remote sensing imagery, BlueGreen US Water Technologies (BGWT) Ltd. will identify algae-prone areas in Lake Minneola and deploy its LakeGuard® Oxy Technology in strategic locations to reduce current or forming algal blooms.

BGWT’s technology was demonstrated during the Governor’s Trade Mission to Israel in 2019. According to BGWT, the Lake Guard® treatment selectively eliminates and prevents cyanobacterial blooms in lakes, regardless of lake size or shape. Lake Guard® uses a proprietary new formulation of potent algaecides that allows the granular product to float and time-release the active ingredient on the water surface, while targeting cyanobacterial mats as they float on the water’s surface.

The same innovative technology is being deployed by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the South Florida Water Management District to address blue-green algae caused by discharges from Lake Okeechobee to the Caloosahatchie and St. Lucie estuaries.

The LakeGuard® Oxy Technology’s active ingredient, hydrogen peroxide, decomposes quickly to water and oxygen. Due the unique formulation of the Lake Guard® products, its ingredients dissolve completely in a few hours after application, is ecofriendly and does not persist or accumulate in the environment.

The pilot project is expected to be in operation for at least six months.