New tool for algal bloom mitigation is making breakthrough results in Utah, scientists say

Apr 22, 2024, 6:34 PM | Updated: Apr 23, 2024, 10:06 am

MANUTA, Box Elder County — A new tool to fight algae blooms is getting a first run in Utah. So far, the scientists behind it say they’re getting breakthrough results.

Experts were closely watching the progress at Mantua reservoir, hoping that the tool would help them clear the water of the harmful, green gunk from other reservoirs in Utah and elsewhere.

Not only is the algae gross, but harmful cyanobacteria corrupt the water.

KSL TV spoke with Paxton Isom, who visits the reservoir from Brigham City. He said he’s seen it look not so great, like pea-colored soup in the warmer months.

“The end of the summer is when you usually see the most drastic changes with it,” he said.

Because of the blooms at Manuta, the reservoir made for an ideal testing ground for the folks at BlueGreen Water Technologies.

“As for the size of the lake and the depth of the lake, we’re very pleased with the results,” said Jan Spin, president at BlueGreen’s American division.

She’s part of the team that placed the product in the water last September. The tool oxidizes the algal blooms, causing them to suffocate.

“What happens is that these harmful algae blooms become a giant carbon sink. And by us sinking that carbon to the sediment level and then allowing it to go back into the natural processes, we restore the biodiversity, and more importantly, restore photosynthesis,” she said.

Spin said BlueGreen is looking at where they can take the tool next.

“Fifty percent of our oxygen comes from water bodies around the globe. When these water bodies become infected by harmful algae, blooms are red tide,” Spin said. “They’re no longer operating and no longer photosynthesis is taking place.”

The goal is to achieve a reduction of almost 13,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide, which will better sustain wildlife, and bring back migratory birds.

“These are important steps that we’re taking today that will make a big difference in the future,” Spin said.

Contributing: Mary Culbertson

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New tool for algal bloom mitigation is making breakthrough results in Utah, scientists say