Scientists consider vacuuming toxic algae from Green Lake

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SEATTLE - Scientists looking for inexpensive ways to make Green Lake safe from toxic algae conducted an experiment Tuesday.

 

Seattle's most popular park is closed to swimming and sailboarding because of a toxic algae bloom.

 

Scientists from King County took samples of water from the lake Tuesday morning.  They haven't tested them yet, but samples taken a week ago showed 100 milligrams of bacteria per liter, far more than the state health standard of 6.

 

"This algae is serious business," said Doug Williams of the King County Department of Natural Resources.

 

Williams said that taking regular readings of the different kinds of algae bacteria will help determine how to improve Green Lake without spending a lot of money on chemicals or heavy machinery. 

 

One idea being considered is to use something you might find in your garage.

 

"Basically, nothing more than a wet-dry vacuum to suck up and gather some of that algae/scum matted material," he said.

 

Williams said Tuesday's experiment may help deal with future algae blooms on the Lake.

 

Williams is hoping this weekend's cool, rainy weather will kill much, if not all, of this toxic mess.

 

Scientists should have the results of Tuesday's Green Lake water tests in a day or two.