PERRYSBURG, OH (Toledo News Now) - The City of Perrysburg is trying to be proactive in the region's fight against the Lake Erie algae.
Thursday city officials unveiled a pilot program that could help lower the amount of nutrients flowing into the lake.
The new filters at the Perrysburg water treatment facility are filled with living organisms used to remove excess nutrients that a traditional treatment process couldn't.
The new system is called the Advanced Biological Nutrient Recovery System from Clearas Water Recovery.
It was made possible through a partnership between the City of Perrysburg and the Lake Erie Waterkeepers.
"Our interest is being a part of leading innovating technology in an attempt to solve a problem that has been ongoing in our region for years," said Perrysburg Mayor, Mike Olmstead.
Rick Johnson from Clearas Water Recovery said the new filtering facility was easily added to the back end of the city's current treatment facility.
"We take that work, and we polish it, if you will. We remove a little bit more...Well, we remove a lot more," Johnson said.
The water passes through pipes filled with microbial organisms that feed on Phosphorous and Nitrogen- the same nutrients that feed toxic algae growth in Lake Erie.
The process has proven to remove an additional 90 percent more phosphorous and 60 percent more nitrogen than traditional treatment methods. It also adds up to 40 percent more oxygen into the water before it is dumped into the Maumee River.
The procedure, if instituted region wide, could be a factor in improving the water quality of Lake Erie.
"The challenges are complex," said Olmstead. "There is no silver bullet that will solve the problems that the Lake faces. It's going to take a comprehensive solution."
The demonstration program will last 90 days. After that, the Clearas data will be made available to other local and state officials.
The left over bio-matter can also be sold to energy companies for a profit to the city.