Tackle harmful algal blooms with near-surface circulation
Lake Varner in Newton County, Ga., about 35 miles east of Atlanta, has been plagued with harmful cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) blooms since the reservoir was built in 1992. At an average depth of 10 to 12 ft, the shallow lake water warms quickly in the spring, creating ideal breeding conditions for the blue-green algae blooms, which can contribute to taste and odor problems and be potentially toxic to fish and wildlife.
The 850-acre lake offers prime fishing and is a source of drinking water for 150,000 people. For years, county water officials treated the lake with costly doses of copper sulfate. The treatment took care of the algal blooms, but rising chemical costs prompted Newton County water production staff to search for a less-costly and more Earth-friendly solution. Water Production Manager James A. Brown and his staff knew of and proposed using a circulation machine that could reduce taste-andodor problems without chemicals. For Lake Varner, an added challenge was to remove cyanobacteria in a large area.
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