Southwest Florida’s largest city is trying to get ahead of the blue-green algae problem.
Cape Coral first used a method called a bubble curtain during the 2018 crisis.
Peter Formica’s new normal includes checking the canal near his Cape Coral home every day.
“I am forever watching it because the minute I see some green I’m going to be on the phone,” Formica said.
The first sign of green, Formica fears, will lead to thick gunk, blue-green algae.
“You could walk across the water, the way it looked. It burned your eyes and made your throat scratchy,” Formica said.
Just the thought of another summer like the one in 2018 makes Formica feel anxious.
City leaders understand his pain.
As reports of blue-green algae occur further up the Caloosahatchee River, Cape Coral is creating an action plan before the green stuff reaches the city’s canals.
One item the city plans to reactivate is the bubble curtain first seen in the Mandolin Canal.
“We are going to focus on deploying that type of technology in additional canals at this time because that will be a kind of preventative measure to keep the algae from getting into the canal system,” said Mike Ilczyszyn, assistant public works director.
Formica is all for it.
“The problem is when the algae comes in like a place like ours like in the basin and there’s no way for it to get out it stays there, ferments and actually gets worse, then we have to spend all the money to get it pumped out of here,” Formica said.
The City of Cape Coral has staff check on its canals on Mondays and Fridays. So far, so good.
No report of blue-green algae yet.
The city is also still working out the details of how much the bubble curtain technology would cost.