Water-Related News

Officials call Lake County's unique water-cleaning facility a success

Think of a ton, almost the weight of a Mini Cooper. That's the amount of phosphorus-laden pollutants that have been removed from water entering into the Harris Chain of Lakes in the past year by Lake County's new treatment facility, according to officials. And those pollutants can turn clear water bodies into a murky green color.

The water authority's Nutrient Reduction Facility on the Apopka-Beauclair Canal treats polluted water flowing out of Lake Apopka and into the Harris Chain of Lakes by injecting the water with aluminum sulfate, commonly known as alum. The alum binds with the pollutants and then sinks to the bottom.

Using alum to clean water is a safe and ancient method, one used by the Romans centuries ago. Still, water authority officials say the process eventually will help restore seven lakes in the Harris chain and lure in fishermen, tourists, boaters and outdoor enthusiasts to the cleaner waters.