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Algae clean-up underway in Cape Coral

Posted at 7:48 PM, Aug 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-07 19:48:42-04

People living along the canals and waterways in Cape Coral have been dealing with disgusting blue-green algae for weeks.

"It was half the marina," said Colin Masterson, who lives near the yacht club. "It was green sludge, everywhere."

But a Fortune 500 company is in town to help clean it up. Tuesday, workers from the engineering firm AECOM worked to remove the thick slime from the water at the Cape Coral Yacht Club.

Since the algae blooms that have choked Cape Coral's waterways are floating, AECOM says that they can be contained and removed in a way similar to the way oil spills are treated, using equipment designed for oil spill recovery.

So far, Lee County has received $700,000 from the Florida Harmful Algae Bloom Management Grant Program to help cover the costs of the pilot project.

"I've never seen a team out here actively doing something about it, so this is good," Masterson said of the algae removal. "This is a good change, we need more stuff in this direction."

The algae will be processed to separate the solids from the water, and the solids will be treated before being put in the county's landfill and covered. The water will be oxidized to kill any toxins.