Water-Related News

Bioreactor that removes Imperial River pollutants earns statewide award

Chambers of wood chips and pea gravel underneath a downtown parking lot could be Bonita Springs’ best weapon to combat pollutants in the Imperial River.

And that innovative tool is getting an upgrade.

The bioreactor, hidden under a parking lot at Felts Avenue and Abernathy Street, stops hundreds of pounds of nitrates from reaching the river every year. Nitrates are linked to blue-green algal blooms, according to Florida Gulf Coast University experts.

The bioreactor was the first of its kind in the state when installed in 2015 at a cost of $450,000. Rainwater from the downtown area is funneled into the chambers before spilling into the Imperial River.