Cape Coral looking into “bubble curtains” to stop blue-green algae

Published: June 4, 2021 7:56 PM EDT
Updated: June 7, 2021 8:24 AM EDT

The City of Cape Coral is working to get ahead of the water crisis. The city is looking into adding “bubble curtains” to stop blue-green algae from entering canals or recreating the disaster from 2018.

The Mayor of Cape Coral says that the city’s pilot program in 2018 worked so well that it’s in everyone’s best interest to use them again.

The bubble curtain was deployed in Mandolin Canal. Now, the city is looking to ad more to other canals across the city.

Peter Formica gets up and checks the water in the canal near his Cape Coral home. He’s still scarred by the green gunk that overwhelmed him during the 2018 water crisis.

“I swore to myself if I ever saw anything close to that I’m leaving here for the summer months,” said Formica.

Formica hasn’t packed his bags yet and is hoping he won’t have to.

John Gunter is the Mayor of Cape Coral. “What we’re trying to develop is a policy moving forward that will help in case we have any blue-green algae issue,” gunter said.

Mayor Gunter wants the city to spend money now and hopes that it’ll save everyone from pain later. He wants to begin by reactivating the bubble curtain along the Mandolin Canal.

Gunter thinks it works well and that the city should purchase more. “We want to take a look at possibly purchasing those additional bubble curtain,” he said.

Mike Ilczyszyn is the city’s assistant public works director. “We would basically designate 750 for preventative technologies— bubble curtains— and then we would have 250 appropriated in case we need to purchase chemicals and biological stuff or the vacuums on the surface,” Ilczyszyn said.

Alex Tiahnybok lives along The Mandolin Canal. “I heard it was horrible and stinky,” Tiahnybok said. “I am in favor of something being done.”

“I would prefer not to spend $1 million but if it’s going to lessen the effects if the blue-green algae does come in our direction, I think then it would be money well spent,” Gunter said.

Mayor Gunter says the money for this project could come from one of two places – the city’s reserves or money already set aside for water quality.

Cape Coral City Council will debate bubble curtains at a special meeting on Wednesday.