BERN TWP., Pa. – Nothing spoils the lake season like algal blooms in the water, which is why park rangers are trying out new floating, buoy-like devices on Blue Marsh Lake.
“They help improve water quality over time and have the potential to manage algae – more importantly for us, harmful algae – which is also known as cyanobacteria,” the blue-green algae said. Brianna Treichler, a natural resource specialist and park ranger at Blue Marsh Lake.
Treichler The device, called an EMF 1000, produces electromagnetic frequencies to help dissolve oxygen faster and prevent algae from building up. There are two devices currently floating in the lake, plus a third device, an algae tracker, that will help park rangers collect and monitor real-time data.
“It kind of collects information about all those different parameters that help algae bloom and then also measures algae content within the water itself,” Treichler explained.
All three devices are all located in the northern section of the lake, which is where Treichler says the harmful algae is the most common.
“Algal blooms are very common here,” she said. “They’re an annual occurrence.”
Park rangers are increasingly concerned with blue-green algae, which in large blooms can release toxins, making people sick and forcing Blue Marsh to shut down.
“We want to be able to provide the best risk base information to people who are coming to enjoy the lake,” Treichler said.
Treichler says if you’re swimming or boating this summer, don’t touch the floating devices, as that could throw off the data. Anyone caught tampering with them will be cited.
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