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Water cleaning site helps address St. Marys lake algae

MONTEZUMA, Ohio (AP) — State and local officials say a site that uses natural and engineered methods to clean water for Ohio's largest inland lake has helped reduce chemicals that contribute to its toxic algae problem.

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Sridhar Viamajala, a University of Toledo chemical and environmental engineering faculty member, monitors an algae culture. He and Sasidhar Varanasi are researching ways to grow algae in wastewater, harvest the algae, and break it down into fuels and chemicals.

The Lima News ( ) reports the site near Grand Lake St. Marys uses a pump station to move water through ponds and pools with different types of plants, organisms and rock barriers.

Grand Lake restoration manager Milt Miller says the so-called "treatment train" cleans more than 1 million gallons of water daily and cost about $1.4 million. Miller says five similar sites are planned around the western Ohio lake.

Officials also have used chemical treatments, dredging and farm outreach to significantly reduce phosphate levels that fed the toxic algae blooms that plagued the lake in recent years.

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