Florida will remain paralyzed with nutrient-contaminated waters until large-scale chemical treatment is used
– Dr. Tom Waite, Founder, Ferrate Solutions® Inc
Floridians should make no mistake, we remain in a very precarious state of paralysis when it comes to managing the quality of our surface waters and preventing cyanobacterial blooms, red tides, and coral reef bleaching.
Big, systemic changes need to happen if we are going to get past the “blame game” of who is the bigger polluter. We need to move beyond debates over agricultural best management practices (BMPs) as the solution to nutrient contamination, and we need to stop chasing our tails when it comes to monitoring and measuring nutrient loads in rivers and lakes. Because let’s be honest, we already know how much phosphorus and nitrogen needs to be removed in order to stay below bloom levels, and it is a lot.
We need to grow food, but we also need to accept that agriculture is just like every other industry on this planet, in that it pollutes. We have to eat, so we should not be imposing unrealistic restrictions on our farmers’ abilities to produce food.
This is where environmentally-safe chemical treatment needs to come into play. It is the only solution on the market today that can handle the magnitude of required nutrient removal. All other approaches that have been used in the past, including impoundment, have failed to come close. It is precisely why the State of Florida has done everything it can to identify new technologies that can do the job.
Engineered chemical treatment systems already exist in nearly every neighborhood around the globe and they safely remove the worst of the worst from drinking water, wastewater, sludge, and more. Why should nutrient removal from agricultural drainage canals or waste water treatment plants, be treated any differently?
Now is the time to get serious with a statewide application of chemical-based treatment for nutrient removal in our surface water, before it’s too late.