Water-Related News

Ultrasonic buoys latest weapon in fight against blue-green algae

A new tool will soon be deployed in Florida in an attempt to eliminate blue-green algae in freshwater systems.

Florida Gulf Coast University’s Everglades Wetland Research Park in Naples received a $1 million grant from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to introduce buoys equipped with sonic technology meant to kill harmful cyanobacteria.

“An ultrasonic wave goes through the water and disturbs algal cells, especially some of the blue-green algae,” said Bill Mitsch, director of the research park. “(The algae) thereby loses its ability to stay in the water column and drops to bottom of the lake.”

Mitsch and his team at the research park will set out nine buoys in lakes throughout the Treviso Bay Naples community this December. It’s a small-scale pilot test to see if the technology works.

“Basically, since we have fertilizers in our water, all these lakes are going to eventually have algal blooms,” he said. “If you have a lake and it’s getting water from urban runoff or especially agricultural runoff, you’re going to have a green lake. There’s no getting around it.”