News Flash

City of Cocoa Latest News (Home Page)

Posted on: July 3, 2018

Busy as a bee – SolarBees help control blue green algae

SolarBee in Bracco Pond B

Bracco Reservoir is a 55-acre parcel consisting of five ponds located off of Plaza Parkway. Bracco Reservoir provides storage of over 130 million gallons of water.

The south pond (Pond A) acts as a storage and recovery area to accommodate variations in the reclaimed water system demands. When demand exceeds supply, water is withdrawn from the reclaimed water storage pond and sent to the Water Reclamation Facility.

The pond immediately to the north of the reclaimed water storage pond (Pond B) provides treatment of stormwater. The stormwater pond links to the reclaimed water pond so that stormwater can supplement the reclaimed water supply. When demand exceeds supply, a transfer line is opened to allow stormwater to flow from the stormwater pond into the reclaimed water storage pond.

Over the last few years blue green algae has become more of an issue in the reservoir. Blue-green algae produce toxins that are detrimental to aquatic micro-life, fish, animals and humans. They thrive in warm weather with plenty of nutrients, i.e. nitrates and phosphorus. It is also toxic to the microorganisms at the Jerry Sellers Water Reclamation Facility. These microorganisms do the important work of breaking down wastes in the raw sewage. When the Sellers plant brings in supplemental to the plant from Bracco the blue green algae can wreak havoc on the treatment process.

In 2017 the Sellers Water Reclamation Facility tried a new method to control the blue green algae. The SolarBees are solar powered units that “mix” the water in the Bracco Reservoir Ponds by pulling the water up from the bottom and out to the top. The units are sized according to pond dimensions and circulates the entire pond over time. This circulation action disrupts the blue-green algae and it cannot thrive.

The SolarBees have performed very well as confirmed by microscopic testing by a third party lab. The units are installed in pond A (reclaimed storage and recovery), B and 1N. Cocoa plans to add three more to ponds 2N, 3N and Michigan Pond in the future.

Facebook Twitter Google Plus Email