Tests are set to commence on a new method for eliminating harmful algal blooms in streams and lakes across Ohio, just as the weather heats up and attracts more people to the water. Columbus, Ohio is the location for these tests.

According to Heather Raymond, who serves as the Director of the Water Quality Initiative at The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES), the tested technology generates ozone and introduces it into a waterway as tiny bubbles. The ozone is capable of eliminating undesirable algae, eradicating toxins, and elevating oxygen levels when present in water.

The “nanobubbles” of ozone release hydroxyl radicals and peroxides when they burst in water, according to the explanation. These substances can provide additional assistance in eliminating detrimental algae and potentially obstructing the algae’s source of nutrition, potentially preventing future blooms.

A $1.5 million grant from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is supporting Ohio State researchers collaborating with experts from the University of Florida, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to evaluate the effectiveness of this technology in battling harmful algal blooms in Ohio. The technology will undergo testing in the lab, test ponds, and various state lakes and rivers to assess its efficiency.

According to Raymond, this has the potential to revolutionize the way small lakes and reservoirs are managed.

The test outcomes will assist researchers in comprehending the required quantity of ozone, the effectiveness of the nanobubble technology in preventing blooms, and any possible adverse impacts on other organisms and the environment.

Chas Antinone Jr., the President and COO of Green Water Solutions LLC, a Brookfield, Ohio-based firm that owns the nanobubble technology patent, believes that it can undoubtedly address numerous water issues in Ohio.

Antinone stated that the technology has been tried and tested in Port Mayaca, Florida, and at Lake Newport, a 60-acre water body in Youngstown. These trials were successful in removing algae and preserving the lives of fish in the water.

Antinone mentioned that their team is constantly performing tests to determine the safe levels of ozone in the water for those at the lower end of the food chain.

Further testing is required before conducting trials at public water system reservoirs or state park lakes in Ohio.

According to Raymond, if they can establish that the ozone nanobubble technology also minimizes the nutrient supply to hazardous algae, it would broaden its potential application.

Raymond stated that treating blooms on lakes as massive as Lake Erie would be excessively costly. However, the technology might be a viable option for treating streams that lead into these lakes, such as Lake Erie.

Antinone expressed that the sooner the process of purifying the water that enters the lake begins, the more beneficial it is.