Lake residents frustrated by algae in St. Pete

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People living on Harbor Isle Lake in St. Pete are frustrated with the city over lack of plans to fix an algae bloom in the water.  

Geoff Davis says it smells, it’s an eye sore and that birds fly out of the lake covered in green muck. 

“The water has become so cloudy it is now roughly the consistency of pea soup,” Davis said. 

The city of St. Pete manages the lake and says there is a nutrient imbalance that is causing the bloom.

Carlos Frey with the city of St. Pete says there’s no pipes or other bodies of water flowing into the lake, so it falls on the homeowners to be mindful of things that fuel algae blooms – like grass clippings, excess fertilizer, and sprinkler system runoff.

“Currently we are working with the association on the lake, we’ve provided them with some educational materials,” Frey said. 

Davis says members of the community and the homeowners association have been complaining for years to the city and says that remediation is not happening fast enough.  They are hoping for a plan to aerate the body of water to help remove the ‘bad’ nutrients causing the bloom.

Frey says St. Pete City Council has set aside funds this year for lake aeration projects but it’s not clear if Harbor Isle is on the list. 

“We haven’t come up with a plan yet,” Frey said.  “Aeration is one of those that we will look at in the future but we aren’t there, yet.”

Frey said he’s continuing to have discussions and hopes to announce a more solid game-plan in the coming months.