Cape Coral treating blue-green algae bloom in a canal system

Reporter: Gail Levy Writer: Matthew Seaver
Published: Updated:
Blue-green algae
Blue-green algae warning on a Cape Coral canal. (Credit: WINK News)

A blue-green algae bloom has been detected in the Boris Canal system in Cape Coral. The bloom covers 20 acres and six canals.

The Department of Health is putting up signs with warnings about the health risks associated with blue-green algae blooms, and the city is already looking at treating it.

The algae bloom, and the warning signs are in Michael Rey’s backyard.

“It concerns me that it’s in there, but it would concern me even more if the city knew about it and didn’t do anything about it,” said Rey.

Cape Coral is certainly doing something about it. The city hired Bill Kurth and his company, Solitude Lake Management, to turn the little green gunk into something that won’t leave you in a funk.

“When they see our guys out here, they will be wearing a full Tyvek suit and face shield, and it’s mainly to keep it out of their eyes,” said Kurth.

Kurth said don’t be scared of these chemicals and guys in full-body suits. Once the peroxide-based algaecide is mixed in the water, he promised it’s safe for the environment.

“This particular one will raise the oxygen levels as were applying it, so there is no real risk for fish kill or anything else. And the really great part is once it’s done, it breaks down into hydrogen and oxygen, and there’s really no residue,” said Kurth.

Rey says hallelujah to that. The last thing he wants is a fish kill in his backyard.

“There’s a lot of bluegills and bass in these things, so I’d hate to see that get destroyed by anything,” said Rey.

Does this algaecide get everything? Kurth is hoping this job is one and done.

“You can never guarantee 100% control. If necessary, we can do another treatment, but I don’t anticipate that. We’re trying to get this controlled in one shot,” said Kurth.

The city said the spray will begin within the next week. They’ve also sent out a reminder about fertilizer restrictions starting June 1.

With the rainy season now here, runoff from a fertilizer with phosphorous or nitrogen can add excess nutrients to the water, meaning more algae blooms.

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