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Water Department Tests Non-Invasive Ultrasonic Technology to Reduce Algae Growth


This information is 1 year 1 month old and may no longer be accurate.

The Water Department is launching a two-year pilot program that will test ultrasonic technology to reduce algae growth in a selected area of the Hillsborough River reservoir. The program will consist of two ultrasonic buoys. The buoys create an ultrasonic sound layer at the top of the river, that will prevent algae from rising to the water’s surface and getting the sunlight it needs to grow. Studies have shown that the buoys are non-invasive and will not harm fish, plants, zooplankton, and insects. 

If successful, the program will: 

  • Minimize algae growth in the city’s reservoir.  
  • Be an environmentally friendly approach to algae control. 
  • Reduce and odor of our drinking water supply. 
  • Reduce the Water Department’s operating costs incurred when managing algae impacts.  

The technology is currently being used in 20 countries worldwide, including several cities across the United States.  

This program is thanks to a $115,254 dollar grant managed by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. The grant will cover the cost of the two buoys and installation.