Kenneth H. Reckhow: Investigate lake cleanup techniques

June 15, 2013 

Sketchy lake solutions

In an otherwise thorough news article June 9 on Jordan Lake, there was no attempt to provide readers with information on the “advances in cleanup technology, such as new techniques to harvest algae for industrial use” as claimed by state Sen. Rick Gunn of Burlington.

In fact, there are no technologies, old or new, that can provide any meaningful level of cleanup of algae in a lake the size of Jordan. In-lake techniques to improve water quality, such as harvesting, aeration and algaecides, can be effective in ponds (or, at best, in small lakes), but they are not intended for large water bodies.

I urge the General Assembly to investigate the feasibility of vaguely characterized techniques that supposedly will clean Jordan Lake at a fraction of the cost of the current program, before modifying or repealing the Jordan Lake rules.

Kenneth H. Reckhow

Professor emeritus, Duke University, Durham

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