Local company helps fight algal blooms around the globe - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Local company helps fight algal blooms around the globe

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Satellite images clearly tell the story of the algal bloom in Lake Erie. Blue Water Satellite is a homegrown company that uses its technology to solve similar problems around the world. The company uses it's satellite imaging to help companies and cities monitor land and water resources. 13abc's Lissa Guyton takes us behind the scenes of the local company with a unique perspective on the problems plaguing Lake Erie.

When you look at this 20 year snap shot of Lake Erie, it's easy to see how the algae problem has grown since 1994. The red areas highlight the most serious trouble spots. Milt Baker is the CEO of Blue Water Satellite, "It is a lot less expensive to to download a satellite image on to a computer as opposed to sending people out in boats to get water samples and send it to the labs. Ground sampling is still good to do but the satellite shows you where to find the best ground samples, it shows you the entire picture which can reduce costs and help pinpoint the problem quicker."

The company started here in Northwest Ohio in 2009 and business has increased ten fold in those five years. Bob Savage heads up Rocket ventures, an organization that helps grow Northwest Ohio technology companies, "A lot of people may be surprised to know that Blue Water is doing work for some of the largest energy companies in the world and several of the largest environmental engineering firms around the globe. They have also done work for the US Army Corps of Engineers and the US EPA."

According to Baker, the technology may even be able to help cities get ahead of the problem, "We may be able to help predict where the blooms will turn up in the future looking at things like weather, temperatures and climate. We can often use that information to determine where the blooms are going to be."

Baker says there is technology already on the market that can help decrease the bloom, but it is not cheap. Things like water circulation, phosphorus remediation and ultrasonic treatment. Savage says like most things, early detection is the key, "There has been a steady progression of this problem and if we don't do something now that progression will continue. Blue Water Satellite's technology illustrates that point extremely well."

Baker says it's important to point out that algae is a problem in bodies of water throughout the world. In fact, Blue Water Satellite is working on an algae problem at the largest lake in California. The Blue Water image pin pointed the problem and they are now working to fix the problem at Clear Lake. To learn more about Blue Water Satellite click here.

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