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Environment & Energy
WKSU News marks the 50th anniversary with the series, Watershed.

Lake Erie Algae Early Warning System Earns Recognition for Cleveland Water Alliance

photo of algae

A Cleveland group has been awarded a grant for its work on a toxic algae early detection system for Lake Erie.

The Cleveland Water Alliance is being recognized by the Great Lakes Protection Fund for using technology to make Lake Erie healthier.  Alliance Director Bryan Stubbs said they plan to unveil a prototype of an algae early warning system next month, which could feed data to water treatment plants and, possibly in the future, the public.

“Maybe somebody going out sailing.  Maybe somebody going out fishing.  Maybe someone who wants to go out to a beach.  All that information will be available in ways we hadn’t thought through before," Stubbs said.

“A water treatment operator gets a text on their smartphone that says, ‘hey, this harmful algal bloom is heading your way.  We think it’s going to be to your plant in a day-and-a-half.  So, prepare for your treatment solutions.’  That’s a whole new world.  We’re actually deploying a prototype of this next month here in Ohio.”

Also next month, Stubbs said the alliance will host the Erie Hack 2.0 competition in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the Cuyahoga River fire.  Teams will pitch ideas for tech-driven ways to improve Lake Erie water quality.  Details are available here.