Bonita Springs mayor upset over how one community is handling water quality

Bonita Springs Mayor Peter Simmons lives in the Bonita Bay community and keeps his eyes on the water.

“This is a neighborhood issue that has the high likelihood of becoming a citywide issue,” he said.

This comes particularly after spotting bright blue-green streaks in the water this summer. Simmons said Florida Gulf Coast University sampled that water and said it tested positive for blue-green algae.

While it has cleared up recently, Simmons’ level of concern has not. He blames the use of chemicals in the community.

“Over in this area, right over here on the lake, was a neon blue and neon green in the water,” Simmons said.

The community association is also working to get to the bottom of the water worry.

“We’re analyzing the water right now and we’re working with experts to determine what methods we should use to try to reduce or eliminate the algae in that lake,” explained Joseph Calabrese, the Bonita Bay Communication Association president.

He believes the lake in question has nutrients, which he said could come from birds, irrigated water from the city, or, “phosphorous could be entering the lake through fertilization.”

Calabrese says that is the responsibility of each neighborhood within Bonita Bay, not the association as a whole.

As they work to get to the bottom of the situation, the Department of Environmental Protection has tested the waters and didn’t find a dominant form of algae or toxins.

The DEP sampled water from the outflow into the Imperial River; whereas, according to Simmons, FGCU sampled from a cove along the lake itself.

Reporter:Stephanie Byrne
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