Environment

New Technology Could Help Prevent Algae Blooms in Skaneateles Lake

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Click the link above to hear how technology is helping prevent algal blooms or read the transcript.

By Dominick Muccilo SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — New technology is on its way that could provide new information about algae blooms in Skaneateles Lake.

“We are looking at technical mechanisms, pieces of equipment that can differentiate a blue-green algae bloom from just an algae bloom,” said William Dean, a biochemist who works with the Skaneateles Lake Association.

Dean says because algae grows from small organisms at the bottom of the lake, it makes them difficult to identify until they reach the surface. New equipment could help discover algal blooms at increased depths in the lake and combat the issue before it becomes a problem.

Last year, harmful algal blooms (HABs) were found in Skaneateles for the first time ever, catching Dean off guard.

Granted last summer’s record-breaking amount thunderstorms and rainfall contributed to HABs, this year, Dean and the Skaneateles Lake Association came prepared.

Storms and heavy rains are in the forecast this week, but Dean says they are taking measures to stay on top of the situation.

“We’re now monitoring all four of the major streams that are coming into the lake,” he said.

After storms and rain come through the area, they provide the nutrients algae needs to grow. Dean says that water temperature, warm weather and pesticides are the four main factors that allow algae to develop.

Dean believes that as more data is collected about where water with nutrients that feed algae is coming from, they’ll get a better understanding of how to solve the problem.