Town Considering Methods To Clean Algae From Lake

The Town of Carolina Beach is working with a contractor to deal with algae growth in the Carolina Beach Lake.  Shallow water levels on the east side of the lake combined with high temperatures and nutrient rich storm water runoff from area properties have facilitated the growth.  The Town of Carolina Beach is working with a contractor to deal with algae growth in the Carolina Beach Lake. Shallow water levels on the east side of the lake combined with high temperatures and nutrient rich storm water runoff from area properties have facilitated the growth.

Town Considering Methods To Clean Algae From Lake Featured

By / Local News / Wednesday, 24 July 2019 04:02

By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
Managing Editor

CAROLINA BEACH - The Town of Carolina Beach is working on a solution with a private company to address algae growth at the Carolina Beach Lake on South Lake Park Blvd.

Brian Stanberry - Director of Public Works -  explained on Tuesday July 23rd, the Town switched to a different company to address algae growth and, "We recently met with their representative and he will begin hitting it pretty hard" with chemical treatments such as a dye to reduce growth and raking some of the material to the shore for removal.

Stanberry said in prior years the Town was able to use a barge as a platform to remove algae, but the water depth is to low for the barge to float freely in the shallow area of the lake on the east side.

He explained algae growth is spurred by the nutrient runoff that is created during rain events. Other contributing factors to algae growth in the Lake are abnormally high ground water levels, continued rainfall, warm temperatures and low lake levels.

Stanberry explained, "Carolina Beach citizens can aid in our efforts to reduce the algae by helping eliminate the nutrients that are transported to the Lake through stormwater runoff. Some simple methods of doing that are always picking up after pets. Pet waste is a major detriment to water quality and contributes to the growth of aquatic algae. Citizens can also lend a hand by being mindful of fertilizer application to their yards and not applying before a rain event. Ensure that the fertilizer is not applied to impervious surfaces such as driveways, sidewalks, streets and curbs. These nutrients are carried away in the rain and are transported to the Lake in condensed form, only exacerbating the nutrient levels."

The east side of the lake is more shallow than the western half that was dredged in 2017.

Dredging was suspended August 29th, 2017 when the U.S. Army demanded the Town stop hauling dirt to land leased to the Town since the 1970's for a wastewater treatment plant off Dow Road.  The Town was placing the dirt at an unapproved location on the property.

The goal of that project was to make the lake deeper to a consistent depth of 6' to 8' feet and improve capacity to hold approximately 16 million gallons of storm water runoff that has traditionally caused flooding of surrounding properties and roadways. The total volume to be removed from the lake was estimated to be approximately 83,000 cubic yards of material. The original completion date for the project was scheduled for February 9th, 2018. When the project was suspended August 29th, the contractor had removed approximately 30,000 cubic yards of material to the wastewater treatment plant.

The Town is currently seeking approval from the Army to leave the existing dredge material on the Dow Road property and exploring the potential to place more material on the property in order to complete the dredging project.

In September of 2018, the estimated cost for removal of the remaining dirt on the leased property and completing the project ranged from $3,146,198 to $4,054,333.

The broad range of cost estimates was due in large part to contractors being unwilling to give estimates prior to the Town officially soliciting bids for the project.

On Tuesday Stanberry said he has considered using a new type of technology that uses pumps to grind the algae growth while also aerating the water to help prevent additional growth. He said the only problem with that option is, the east side of the lake is not deep enough for such a device to operate.
The average depth in that area is less than 18 inches.

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