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Algae cleanup: How long will it take?

Posted at 6:10 PM, Aug 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-14 07:41:55-04

CAPE CORAL, Fla., -- Algae cleanup crews came for a third day to the same green-filled canal in Clipper's Bay. Neighbors wish the job would get done faster, but the County says it's a challenge they've never taken on before. 

“They just need to hurry up the process because people live here," said Nicholas Hulfeld, a resident at the Clipper's Bay complex. 

Hulfeld is staying at his grandmother's for the summer. He says she nor anyone else spends much time outside anymore. In fact, they don't even bother to open their windows to avoid getting sick. 

"She can’t open it because the smell gets in the house and who knows how that will effect her.”

Hulfeld asked the same question so many residents have been wondering: how long until it's cleaned up? 

Lee County Commissioner, Brian Hamman, says the cleanup task is daunting because it's the first time they've ever had a situation as extreme as this. 

“We’re actually making the process up as we go along, because no one has ever tried to clean up an algae bloom of this size before," explained Hamman.  

He says it's often difficult to tell where the cleanups will happen, because the algae will be there one day and gone the next. 

“They’re trying to actually capture almost where it’s trapped, where it’s most advantageous…that spot moves around depending on the tide and the winds shift.” 

Lee County tells Fox 4 the algae is being taking to a Reverse Osmosis plant in North Fort Myers to be processed. They say they hope to have a news conference later this week to explain exactly how it’s being processed once it gets out of the canals.