CHIPPEWA LAKE VILLAGE, Ohio — Chippewa Lake is celebrating its second year free of toxic algae and in a healthy state, thanks to a new treatment applied to the water in 2019.
The treatment was done pro bono by BlueGreen US Water Technologies, a global water-technology company. The company was started in 2014 and began releasing its products in 2017.
“We started our first market in Israel in 2018. We quickly took about 30 percent of the market and, in 2019, we took about 90 percent of the Israeli market,” said Waleed Nassar, CEO of BlueGreen US Water Technologies.
“That’s when, in 2019, we decided, also, to have an entity here in the U.S.”
Chippewa Lake was the company’s first project in the United States.
“That’s when we were looking for a demo project, a good project, a high-profile project that we could utilize our technology and show how it works,” Nassar said.
At the time, the company saw coverage in the local media and learned that the community had actually commissioned a study to try to understand their lake’s algae bloom problem a little better. The study suggested that they do a treatment on the lake that would last about 10 days and could cost anywhere between $500,000 and $1.8 million, according to Nassar.
“That’s when we approached the community and we told them that we could do it pro bono as a showcase for our technology,” he said.
He and the company reached out to the Medina County Park District and the Save the Lake Coalition.
“The Save the Lake Coalition are fantastic folks. Without them, we wouldn’t be there,” Nassar said.
In August 2019, BlueGreen came in and applied the treatment to the lake, then monitored it for about a week, according to Nassar.
“We do not bleach the lake. We don’t just dump a lot of chemicals that could cause harm to that environment,” he said.
He explained that traditionally, toxic algae is treated with chemical products. They sink to the bottom and interact with the sediment, meaning that you need a significantly high amount to reach the upper level of the lake.
He shared that this approach wasn’t the right one to take for Chippewa Lake. The Lake Guard treatment that BlueGreen applied to the lake took them less than a half-hour to apply. Their treatment is designed to float, allowing it to reach the algae and bacteria at the top of the lake.
“The floating aspect is critical. First, it concentrates the product closest to the photic region (where the blooms reside) and then it makes for an easy application,” Nassar said.
“We wait for the natural movement of winds and currents to disperse it throughout the lake.”
He explained the process as strengthening the immune system of the lake. Once the invasive and toxic algae is gone, healthier plants can take over, increasing the biodiversity of the lake.
“Once you have a healthy, biodiverse lake, you in a way, boost its immune system. Once you do so, the lake can defend itself against invasive species,” Nassar said.
He shared that they didn’t even need to shut down the lake to recreation to do the treatment. Nassar recalled seeing someone on the water on a surfboard.
Two years later, the lake remains algae free and healthy, and residents are able to enjoy the lake better than before.
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