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Florida Gulf Coast University unveils new ultrasonic technology to fight algae blooms

Posted at 1:26 AM, Sep 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-25 06:38:03-04

NAPLES, Fla.  — Continuing to make appearances across bodies of water here in Southwest Florida, Blue-Green Algae has become an ongoing problem. Still, Florida Gulf Coast University says they have some new technology that might help break up algae blooms.

“It does it with a sonic wave you can think of it as a sound wave, and it goes through the water and the easiest way to explain it is, it goes through the water and discombobulates the algae,” said Dr. Bill Mitsch, director of the Florida Gulf Coast University Everglades Wetlands Research Park in Naples.

FGCU’s Everglades Wetland Research Park in Naples received $1 million to place nine buoys starting in the Treviso Bay Community in Naples to study water quality and get rid of blue-green algae using ultrasonic technology

“What it does is, this sonic wave at the right frequency, so it disrupts the inner tuber and takes the air out basically and causes the algae to sink,” said Dr. Mitsch.

The buoys, a product of LG Sonic, use solar energy to operate instead of chemicals, which Mitsch says is the best solution.

“You know every lake in Southwest Florida probably uses chemicals. Most of them use a chemical called copper sulfate well copper sulfate is toxic, and copper is now the number 1 pollutant in Naples Bay because everyone is pouring copper sulfate in all these lakes and all these developments,” said Dr. Mistch.

Mitsch tells Fox 4 this is a more permanent solution for getting rid of nutrients like Nitrogen and Phosphorous coming into our aquatic system from developments and agricultural fields, causing the algae blooms.

“This is a fix we can put on some of the lakes that we want to be clear. You can swim in these waters that have these systems no problem at all, no health issue what so ever. It’s a sound wave that you can’t hear, and hopefully, we will be able to maintain a lot of our systems that look like this,” said Dr. Mistch.