Work begins to remove toxic algae blooms from Florida waterways

Filtration system being used in hopes of ridding water of algae

JENSEN BEACH, Fla. – For weeks, odorous algae has been choking the life out of waterways in several Florida counties, and on Monday, work began to remove the toxic algae blooms.

The process is loud and at times messy, but it appears to be tackling the problem at the Outboards Only Marina in Jensen Beach.

"This is 100 percent better now that they've come," Kyla Morkey, who helps run the marina, said.

Morkel's company has been shut down for two weeks because of the heavy crust of bacteria-filled algae blooms that had been 8 inches deep in some areas.

The smell that comes along with the stagnant blooms is something that's become unbearable for some.

"(It's like) thousands and thousands of dumpsters with dirty diapers in them. It's choking," Morkel said.

"This is an immediate solution to this problem," Corey McGuire, of Ecosphere Technologies, said.

McGuire and his team stepped in over the weekend, armed with large suction pumps, a high-tech filtration system and a mobile truck filled with complex technology.

Four thousand gallons a minute are pumped through and returned to the waters off the St. Lucie River.

"We're oxidizing the algae as it's coming throughout the process. We're then taking that water and pushing it through a water cannon that you see behind me so that we can target the whole area," McGuire said.  

The solution is a chemical-free process that also uses sound waves and electricity in hopes of getting rid of the toxic problem for good.

"This is completely treated fluid. If you tested it, it would be free of algae and any sort of harmful bacteria," McGuire said.

Morkel said she hopes to have her marina up and running again within a week.

About the Author:

Terrell Forney joined Local 10 News in October 2005 as a general assignment reporter. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, but a desire to escape the harsh winters of the north brought him to South Florida.