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Phoslock hoped to reduce blue-green algae in Sturgeon Bay

As Sudbury continues to deal with the problem of blue-green algae on area lakes, a township to the south is looking to take more drastic action to deal with potentially toxic blooms of bacteria.
The province has approved a plan to try something called Phoslock — a clay-like substance that can be added to the water to reduce phosphorus, which feeds algae blooms. (CBC)

As Sudbury continues to deal with the problem of blue-green algae on area lakes, a township to the south is looking to take more drastic action to deal with potentially toxic blooms of bacteria.

For more than a decade, blue-green algae blooms have been showing up in Sturgeon Bay, near Pointe au Baril.

Ian MacLeod, who sits on the board for a cottage association in the area, said the province has approved a plan to try something called Phoslock — a clay-like substance that can be added to the water to reduce phosphorus. Phosphorus is what feeds the algae blooms.

“Natural or unnatural, [the algae problem is] here and I believe that it is time to address the situation [and] see if we can make a difference and clean it up,” he said.

The CBC's Megan Thomas tells us about a new project that could help control blue-green algae. But who will pay for it. 6:06

MacLeod says now residents have to decide how to pay for the roughly $1 million cost of the project, which includes 10 years of monitoring.

“We feel that the data collected will be used in future for other projects,” he added.

If they agree on how to split the bill, he said Phoslock could be applied in the spring.

For MacLeod, a solution can’t come soon enough. The water off his dock sometimes looks like green paint, thanks to blue-green algae blooms that have been a chronic problem for more than a decade.

“It's very important to try to do something about this new reality,” he said.

No one from the Ministry of Natural Resources was available to comment on the approval of Phoslock use in Sturgeon Bay.

MacLeod says residents will likely vote this fall on whether to take on the cost of project.

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