Lee County crews were finally able to start cleaning toxic blue-green algae out of canals in North Fort Myers Friday.
As the community seeks solutions to the algae problem, one company says they have figured out a safer and easier way to get rid of troublesome gunk: bubbles.
NABAS says they were able to use the power of nano bubbles to clear out a lake in south Lee County that used to look like many of the canals in Cape Coral and North Fort Myers.
Ben Lee, the president and CEO of NABAS says clear water is what their company is striving for.
“But now you see rings — fish are jumping up and down,” said Lee. Wildlife has returned to the water their company cleaned with their nano bubble technology.
“We’ve been seeing a tremendous difference from when it started and now,” said Bo Burns of SOLitude Lake Management.
Here’s how it works: Bubbles, smaller than a piece of hair, are blasted into the algae-infested waters.
The bubbles put oxygen and ozone into the water which dissolves the algae.
But these particular bubbles don’t rise, they stay at the bottom of the waterbed.
“So we aren’t just skimming the top, we’re hitting everything inside, inside the water columns.,” Lee said.
The technology originated in South Korea and has the blessing of Doctor Brian Lapointe, who has been testing the algae in Lee County water.
“This technology probably really needs to be applied for these canals because otherwise this could sit and fester in here for too long,” Lapointe said.
While it’s in the testing phase, Lee County leaders have dropped by to check out the machine at work.
“We do believe this could be upscaled on a very large scale like the Caloosahatchee or Lake O,” said Bill Kurth of SOLitude Lake Management.
Lee County leaders have seen the machine in action twice, and are impressed with what they’ve seen.
There are plans to move it into a canal next week that feeds off of the Caloosahatchee.