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Chief Of External Affairs For ODNR talks about Alum Application
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From THE CELINA DAILY STANDARD:
Water was visibly clearer this morning just hours after a pilot study began on Grand Lake.
A 30-foot-long barge with 60 foot-wide arms attached to dangling hoses applied more than 6,000 gallons of aluminum sulfate (alum) over 13 acres at Harmon’s Landing, the first of five sites that will be treated.
The alum targets phosphorous, the main food source for the toxic blue-green algae that has plagued the lake for years.
Scott Fletcher, with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, said the visibilty in the lake’s water had increased from 2 to 8 inches just a few hours after the application began.
A combination of sodium aluminate, a form of alum with a high pH, and aluminum sulfate, which has a low pH, was used. The mixture is designed to ensure there are no spikes in water acidity that could harm fish.
"The goal is to keep it neutral" said John Holz of Tetra Tech, the consulting firm hired to design the alum study and analyze the results. "When you get high or low pH, you can get impacts in aquatic life."
Shortly after the alum was applied, 3-inch long gizzard shad started swimming to the surface seeking air. Fletcher said the behavior was expected and temporary. The reaction was not caused by the chemical, rather from some of the algae dying quickly as it was carried to the lake bottom with the phosphorous.