Lake Mitchell homeowners test device to reduce algae - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Lake Mitchell homeowners test device to reduce algae

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People who live along Lake Mitchell have a problem. There's a whole lot of algae and they want it gone so the water can improve.

Two men in Lake Mitchell have installed a GridBee.

Summertime is Lake Mitchell's busiest season. People who get in the water know it's not the cleanest, but it's also not the safest.

Take it from someone who's been there 46 years.

"In the 60s and 70s, this lake was pretty clear, then it got entirely worse after we dredged it which was probably a bad idea. The filtration got worse with the algae, Jerry Carey said.

That algae is still a major problem, which is why Jerry Carey and his neighbor Gordy Thomsen have introduced a GridBee system to Lake Mitchell just a few days ago.

"I'm not a chemist or biologist. All I am is a concerned citizen that sees a bunch of algae soup on the lake so we're trying to get rid of it," Carey said.

And this is how they're doing it. It's a device held down by an anchor. On the surface of the water floats a buoy. It runs off electricity and circulates the water creating good algae, or zooplankton, which eats the bad blue-green algae. If the device works, it will slowly get rid of all the bad algae within three acres.

"It's a health issue. The blue-green is poisonous and if kids drink it, they're going to get sick. One of the things we are really perturbed about is nothing has been done and we have to start doing something," he said.

Doing something is important because Carey has a seven year-old son, Patrick, who wants a safe lake to enjoy for decades down the road.

"It's extremely important to me to pass on something good in life before you pass on. If Gordy and I have our way, he will have a clean lake," Carey said.

The GridBee was installed Friday. The system costs about $5,000 dollars.

It will take about a month to see how it's working. If it works well, the men plan to talk to other lakefront homeowners about investing in a dozen or more to make a much healthier difference for Lake Mitchell.

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