NewsLocal News


Company uses foam products to remove toxic algae from the Caloosahatchee River

Posted at 7:05 AM, Aug 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-31 07:09:02-04

FORT MYERS, Fla. – A team of scientists and experts say they have successfully removed algae from the Caloosahatchee River.

Two weeks ago, a group tested out an Aquaflex foam product to kill the algae blooms.

It works just like a sponge.

Aquaflex founder and inventor, Scott Smith shared exclusive photos of the lab results gathered so far.

The photos show that the foam soaked up toxins from the blue-green algae.

It was between 45,000 to over 250,000 parts per billion.

Smith says that's a high concentration.

He also says this could help the water quality crisis in Southwest Florida.

“I believe this new technology can potentially help the water crisis,” Smith said. “However, it will, most likely take a variety of technologies to help significantly mitigate the water crisis.”

Right now, Aquaflex is seeking funding to do a trial run on an acre's worth of algae-infested water. 

“A real-world pilot study is necessary to document the magnitude of how much the AquaFlex technology can help the water crisis in Florida,” said Smith. “At this point, we know that the technology removes excess phosphorus nutrients and algae/cyanotoxins/microcystins.”

Smith says it’s important to deploy the technology in a pilot program to better understand how to most efficiently work to mitigate excess phosphorus along with algae and toxins in the water.

Aquaflex is working with a number of groups on the project including the Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program and Florida Gulf Coast University.

“We are very appreciative to have Dr. Mike Parsons of FGCU involved in this project from the very beginning so he can continue to guide us and help us make sure the science is sound,” Smith said.

The group will be back in Florida next week to do more testing. 

Summary of AquaFlex Open-Cell foam testing for Removal/Detection of Algae-Toxins