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Algae eating machine works on clearing toxic waters in Rio

A Treasure Coast company may have successfully removed toxic blue-green algae from the water but the Florida Department of Environmental Protection wants to see just how the system works.

A Treasure Coast company may have successfully removed toxic blue-green algae from the water but the Florida Department of Environmental Protection wants to see just how the system works.

Ecosphere Technologies created an "algae eating machine" to help the emergency situation along the Treasure Coast. And it seems to be working.

Corey McGuire, the marketing director with Ecosphere Technologies, tells the TCPalm "the surface of the water has completely changed" after the machine ran for "about 15 hours over the weekend."

The algae eating machine is a high-tech system that processes the toxic algae infested water in a new experimental solution. On Saturday, crews from Ecosphere cranked the machine up at a boat basin behind Outboards Only on Old Dixie Highway in Rio where McGuire says the algae was anywhere from 4 to 8 inches thick on top.

"We destroy very tough bacteria strands as well as algae level in various types of water," said McGuire. "So we'll be processing roughly approximately 4,000 gallons a minute."

Now, McGuire says the thick mats of algae on top are all gone in that basin of the St. Lucie River.

Ecosphere Technologies cleared the algae for free in an effort to demonstrate the algae eating machine's capabilities.

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection issued a statement on Monday, where spokeswoman Dee Ann Miller said the agency will work with Ecosphere "to gather the additional information needed to evaluate the treatment."


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