As Southern California’s largest freshwater lake, Lake Elsinore is a volatile and complex body of water. Located at the end of the watershed, it is plagued by a history of algae blooms and frequent water quality challenges. 

In an effort to improve Lake Elsinore's health, the City has proactively sought out innovative solutions to address algae growth on the lake. To ensure the Lake is managed and treated appropriately, the City is working on a study to evaluate best management practices and precautions that will be implemented to protect surface waters within Lake Elsinore.

The pilot study, funded by a Proposition 1 grant, for the physical harvesting of algal biomasses began in September 2022. The study evaluates four potential creative solutions to improve water quality by minimizing algae growth right here at the shoreline. The four methods are:

EutroPHIX Chemical Treatments

A treatment regime that uses copper and peroxide-based algaecides for controlling algae along with other products that sequester phosphorus, a nutrient that algae uses as a food source.

What to look for: Because this treatment is clear in color and injected into the water, there isn’t much to see. Look for the small bouy in the center of the enclosure to see the site of where the chemical treatments are taking place. This treatment is located in the enclosure furthest to the right of the two fishing docks.

BioCleaner Microbial Treatment

A technology effectively used at reducing algae in natural waterways such as rivers, lakes and bays. The BioCleaner system uses natural microbes that are free from pathogens and considered safe for widespread application. The microbes produced by the system compete for nutrients in the water column thereby suppressing algae growth.

What to look for: This treatment is located in the center between the two fishing docks.  Look for the blue and white floating platform producing bubbles inside the enclosure.

Moleaer™ Nanobubble Generator

A nanobubble technology that delivers chemical-free water treatment. The technology produces nanobubbles which are 70-120 nanometers in size. Due to their small size, nanobubbles exhibit unique properties that can improve water quality through both physical and chemical processes. Ultimately these processes can physically destroy algal cells and also result in the addition of dissolved oxygen to the water column, creating an environment less conducive to undesirable algae (i.e., cyanobacteria).

What to look for: This treatment is located to the left of the two fishing docks.  The Nanobubble unit is located a green metal box located on the left-hand dock where water is pulled in, treated, and discharged back into the enclosure.

AECOM Hydronucleation Floatation Technology

A liquid-solid separation technology designed to efficiently and safely harvest algae, associated nutrients, and algal toxins from water. By physically removing the algae from the water column, the key nutrients (phosphorus and nitrogen) that fuel algae growth are removed, along with cyanotoxins that may be present and carbon. Algae harvesting also creates a valuable feedstock for green fuel, clean energy, biofoam, fertilizer, and soil amendment.

What to look for: This is a bench-scale study being conducted in a laboratory, so there is nothing to see in the lake at the moment for this technology.  However, a picture of the unit is provided below.  This unit could be land-based or located on a floating barge.  This technology pulls water in from the lake, treats it, physically removes the algae, and then discharges the cleaned water back to the lake.

Expand/Contract Questions and Answers

  • What’s Happening near the docks at Lake Elsinore?