Water-Related News

Algae plague in Lake Minneola targeted for $1.7 million treatment

FDEP and SJRWMD are paying for and overseeing the treatment

Lake Minneola, the pride of adjoining Clermont and Minneola, was not supposed to be a victim of a worldwide plague: harmful and toxic algae running amok.

But despite being naturally dark and acidic, which generally inhibits algae growth, Minneola exploded unexpectedly early this year with a green ooze of algae. It was the worst known outbreak for the nearly 2,000-acre lake about 20 miles west of Orlando in south Lake County. A foam several feet thick of rotting algae piled up on shorelines.

It was another casualty in the onslaught of harmful algae, overtaking even the Florida waters thought to be in healthy condition. In response, government officials have identified Lake Minneola as the state’s guinea pig for a chemical treatment unproven in Florida and designed by an Israeli company to temporarily knock out harmful algae.

“The lake is sick,” said Waleed Nasser, director of U.S. operations for BlueGreen Water Technologies Ltd. “It has been contaminated for years.”

The product supplied by the company consists of tiny beads of encapsulated hydrogen peroxide that are key in providing “surgical treatments of toxic algal blooms.” The material drifts with algae, attacking the harmful varieties and allowing beneficial algae to recover, according to the company.