Interim report analyzed nearly 75 proposals, found promising solutions to fight toxic cyanobacteria blooms at Ohio’s largest inland lake

Battelle, the world’s largest independent research and development organization and home of some of the world’s foremost environmental remediation experts, has identified about 10 solutions for mitigating the harmful blooms of algae and toxic cyanobacteria in Grand Lake St. Marys (GLSM) from a group of about 75 ideas. While none of these proposals provided a complete answer to solve the problems at the lake, Battelle is recommending further evaluation of these identified solutions.

The Battelle report summarizes the environmental support services provided by Battelle under a contract with the Western Ohio Educational Foundation (WOEF) funded by grants from the Grand Lake St. Marys Restoration Commission (GLSMRC) and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). The WOEF is located at the Wright State University, Lake Campus, which also provided research support.

Under this contract, Battelle completed three tasks:

  • Task 1: Perform Suitability Evaluations for Lake Restoration Proposals
  • Task 2: Provide Status/Feedback to GLSMRC and Stakeholder Groups
  • Task 3: Assess/Site Aeration Technologies in Select GLSM Sheltered Areas

Under Task 1, Battelle reviewed more than 70 vendor-proposed solutions for the state’s largest inland lake. Battelle worked closely with GLSMRC and ODNR to design a systematic screening process to rank these proposals. Four configurations emerged that reflect distinct lake improvement strategies arising from the vendor-proposed solutions:

  • Reduction of external phosphorus loading by source reduction or treatment, including treatment of tributaries
  • Reduction of internal loading by removal or inactivation of phosphorus inventory in lake sediments
  • Aeration/circulation
  • Algaecidal agents

“Battelle’s analysis of the proposed technical solutions provides a comprehensive guideline for addressing the environmental problems at Grand Lake St. Marys,” said Marty Toomajian, President of Battelle’s Energy, Environment and Material Sciences Global Business. “We appreciate this opportunity to be a trusted technical resource for Ohio.”

Thomas Knapke, WOEF Development Officer, said, “Battelle worked closely with GLSM stakeholders to reach consensus on the preferred criteria to classify and rank proposed solutions. This exercise identified highest priority solutions and allowed us to start working with selected vendors for follow-up analysis and demonstrations of their proposed solutions in both the lake and its surrounding watershed.”   

Task 2 provided a summary of various perspectives on the environmental issues and contributing factors stressing GLSM. Conceptual models were used to describe the ecosystem functions of the lake. This task provided a framework to support the assessment of the proposed vendor solutions. Task 3 reviewed various options and made specific recommendations for aerating closed areas of the lake.