Jewish Press of Tampa

State of Florida hires Israeli water tech firm to zap Lake Okeechobee algae blooms

An Israeli water tech company has been dispatched by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to conduct emergency treatment designed to remediate toxic algae originating in Lake Okeechobee from reaching other Florida waterways.

On Oct. 20, Gov. DeSantis gave the go-ahead for BlueGreen Water Technologies, Ltd., a global water tech company based in Tel Aviv, to begin treatment in the lake. For years, the lake has been cited as the cause of algae blooms on both the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the state, due to nutrient-rich water flowing through canals and rivers from the lake to the coasts.

Lake Okeechobee has seen a surge in cyanobacterial blooms, disrupting the environment while endangering the health and economy of nearby communities.

“Harmful algal blooms have a debilitating effect on our ecosystems and our communities,” said DeSantis. “That is why, for the first time, I made it a priority to secure dedicated funding to deploy innovative technology to mitigate blue-green algae blooms.”

DeSantis’s office said the governor and state representatives saw a demonstration of the BlueGreen technology during the Governor’s Trade Mission to Israel in 2019.

Eyal Harel, CEO if BlueGreen, said, “This emergency application of Lake Guard™ Oxy is aimed to prevent the buildup of cyanobacteria and its proliferation from Lake Okeechobee into Florida’s waterways. We applaud Florida … for promoting prevention as the new standard for algae mitigation.”

Dr. Waleed Nasser, head of U.S. Operations for BlueGreen, said “The modular nature of our technologies allows us to be able to respond to any emergency within hours from call.”

BlueGreen completed its first U.S. treatment at Chippewa Lake, (1.3 km), the largest inland natural lake in Ohio in 2019. The treatment was so successful that the lake remains free of toxic algae since the treatment. The company has also had success in Nanhu Lake in Yueyang, China, (12 km), and Roodeplaat Dam, South Africa, (4.4 km).

BlueGreen Water Technologies, Ltd . (“BlueGreen”) is a privately-owned global watertech company dedicated to developing and implementing novel solutions to water-related problems. Its portfolio currently consists of two commercially available products, Lake Guard™ Blue and Lake Guard™ Oxy.

The products are approved by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and are certified by the American National Standards Institute and others for treatment in drinking water.

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