Lake Varner- Reduce WTP Costs By Controlling Blue-Green Algae Blooms

image showing SolarBee circulators in a lake with the quote "with SolarBee circulators, water quality becomes better and better every year"

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This lake is an 850+ acre man-made reservoir feeding the Cornish Creek Water Treatment Plant (WTP) in Newton County, Georgia. The WTP production capacity was ten (10) to twelve (12) million gallons per day (mgd) at the time of this project with future flows forecasted to be over twenty-five (25) mgd. Not only is this lake is an important raw drinking water source & recreational activity area for the residents of Covington and Newton County, it is also known for its excellent fishing and large avian habitat.

In the years preceding the SolarBee® deployment, the lake experienced problems associated with blue-green algae (also known as cyanobacteria).  Blue-green algae can contribute to taste & odor problems in drinking water and is potentially toxic to fish & wildlife.  

Environmentalists have identified an emerging neurological problem with certain bird species.  They speculate toxins (also known as cyanotoxins) emitted by certain blue-green algae species are the cause.  High levels of these toxins have been verified in the lake during certain time periods.

To help keep their water supply as safe as possible, Newton County previously used chemicals to control the blue-green algae growth; however, increasing costs for these chemicals led county leaders to research new options.  In early 2013, the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority approved financing for the SolarBee® project.  


image detailing a SolarBee placement layout for a water treatment plantSolution

On April 25th, 2013, twelve (12) SolarBee® SB10000HWv18 lake circulators were deployed for epilimnetic circulation to control harmful blue-green algae blooms and associated taste & odor issues.  This deployment was designed as a partial lake application treating approximately 360 lake surface acres in front of the WTP equating a three-week raw water supply.



The County saved ~$250,000 in annual chemical costs the first year alone with a total return on investment under four years.  SolarBee® Lake Circulators have completely eliminated the need for algaecide applications and have lowered the powdered activated carbon (PAC) usage by at least 75%.  Blue-green algae associated taste and odor issues were also resolved.

This SolarBee® project was proven an important investment for the community.  

  • Improving water quality.
  • Reducing system costs.
  • Safeguarding public health.
  • Protecting the ecosystem.


This community is very pleased with the SolarBees


"The success of SolarBees has allowed us for the last few years to maintain current wholesale water rate. Chemical costs are volatile; based on petro industry cost. We have been able to stabilize that volatility and maintain cost savings. We have not had a water rate increase in last 3 years, since the SolarBees were installed. We would have had an increase were it not for the SolarBees. SolarBees exceed my expectations for quality and craftsmanship and are built well."


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