City installs system to reduce toxic algae bloom at Greenfield Lake


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The City of Wilmington has installed a new aquatic system to reduce the ongoing toxic algae bloom affecting Greenfield Lake.

In August, the city said the lake was experiencing a blue-green algae cyanobacterial bloom. Cyanobacterium is an algae that is dangerous to humans and animals.

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Working with NC State University, crews installed Floating Treatment Wetlands to help reduce the nutrient overload and the algae blooms.

Clean Water Management Trust Fund provided grant funding to purchase, install, and monitor the efficacy of the Floating Treatment Wetland and water quality.

Local residents who frequent greenfield lake are thankful to see efforts made to battle the algae bloom.

“Keep it looking nice. Oh man, it was real terrible, halfway through the lake, –you know, that green stuff,” said Levy Moore, resident.

“I think it’s great the city is taking steps to clean the lake up, its just an asset. It’s a complete gem for the city, and for it to just –the algae bloom and all the trash that’s in it, I’m glad they’re taking the steps and the measures to clean it up,” said Louis North, resident.

The floating treatment wetlands involves plants on floating mats that absorb nutrients in the water and store it.  Jennifer Butler, stormwater education program manager with the City of Wilmington, says the current panels will be monitored for a year.

“So, NC State is monitoring the lake. They’re doing water quality testing, they’re –you know, they’re in this arm of the lake called Squash Branch, so we can test the water and see how it’s improving in that small area,” said Jennifer Butler, stormwater education program manager.

After one year, the city of Wilmington will determine how  the floating treatment wetlands are improving the lake’s water quality.

“We’re going to study the plants and see how much nitrogen and phosphorous they’re taking up in the roots. So, if —if it works, successfully absolutely we would want to see more of these in the lake and perhaps some other waterbodies,” said Butler.

The Floating Treatment Wetlands help improve the habitat and biodiversity in a waterbody, and will not interrupt rainfall or require heavy equipment to install.