Midwestern lakes aren’t the easiest to jump into… pond scum, thick weeds, squishy mud bottoms… It’s best to just get in and not think about it. While typically aquatic plants are just a nuisance, they can also be potentially dangerous. With increasing outbreaks of Harmful Algae Blooms - over 300 this year so far - swimming in lakes can be hazardous to people and pets. They can also kill fish populations and ruin recreational fishing areas when left untreated, and reduce property values over the long-term.
These issues concerned one Wisconsin couple, Ed and Liz Esser, whose backyard pond is commonly used by neighborhood pets, including their own polar white Labrador retriever, Ellie. With increasing health risks to pets from HABs, the Esser’s wanted to ensure their pond was safe for both Bob, as well as fish and wildlife. They contacted their lake manager, Jeff Stelzer of Lake and Pond Solutions, who referred them to AquaRealTime’s AlgaeTracker.
The AlgaeTracker is a remote monitoring device for Harmful Algae Blooms. The device uses optic sensors to track potentially toxic algae and six other parameters every 15 minutes. The data is sent to the cloud, where it is stored in an online dashboard that can give alerts if toxic algae are growing out of control.
The unit in the Esser’s backyard lake was installed in less than an hour and gives peace of mind. “The AlgaeTracker has given us a great feeling of assurance that our pond is safe for pets,” says Liz Esser. “Before we didn’t really have a way to actively monitor the lake. The AlgaeTracker was easy to install and is really unnoticeable in the pond. I love being able to just check on things from my phone.”