A Montana company tests the waters at Grand Lake to see if their treatment plan can help restore water quality. Clearas Water uses their algae straight from Montana to fight the harmful algae in our water.
"So the idea is if we remove the food from the algae in the lake, feed our algae, that inhibits the growth of algae in the lake by removing the food from it," said Joe Sullivan, Operator for Clearas Water Recovery.
The chemical-free treatment uses a three-part process starting with step one.
"This is where the algae gets two things that are required for growth, it gets phosphorous and nitrogen," said Sullivan.
Step two is the recovery phase where the algae receives sunlight and carbon.
"So these are our photobioreceptors, this is where the recovery phase happens," said Sullivan.
And into step three where they separate the two.
"So separating the algae which now has bound up the phosphorous and nitrogen and resulting in a permeate which is nutrient deficient to go back to the source," said Sullivan.
To simplify the process they take one part lake water and one part algae and mix them together. The result is clean water.
Right now they're treating about 20 gallons of lake water to display their results. Based on their success in other areas like Perrysburg, Ohio, this could be a step in the right direction for the lake.
"We're not thinking to ourselves that this is going to 'wa-la', solve the entire lake as a whole, it's just the lake is too large for that, but could it be used as a piece to the puzzle, yes we hope so, like a lot of the other technologies we've been looking at," said Jared Ebbing, Community Economic Development Director of Mercer County.