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LWP Releases “Solar Bees” to Control Reservoir Algae

posted 6/21/2017

Last summer’s end was a painful and frustrating time for Loveland Water and Power staff who treat and deliver water to the City’s customers, and for many of the people who consume it.

A perfect storm had brewed, driven by unseasonably high temperatures combined with an unusual consequence of the 2013 Flood that raised nutrient levels in Green Ridge Glade Reservoir. The result was a nearly unstoppable “bloom” of algae in the water supply reservoir that caused taste-and-odor problems that Loveland residents are unaccustomed to. While safety of the water was never in jeopardy, its earthy taste and smell were noticeable for many residents.

Since that unfortunate algae bloom, our Water Treatment Plant staff has worked in conjunction with Corona Environmental Consulting LLC to develop a strategy to prevent any reoccurrence.

Work has already begun. Enter the SolarBee SB10000, an aquatic robot that looks a little like a mechanical water strider, but fitted with solar panels. Technicians from Medora Corp., SolarBee’s manufacturer, launched four of them into Green Ridge Glade’s water May 12. Photos show one of the machines in place on the reservoir surface.

The machines will work, round the clock, mixing the surface water to keep algae from growing in the subsurface depth where they flourish. Each “Bee” provides coverage for 40 acres, so the four now in place are a perfect match for the reservoir’s 160-acre surface area.

The machines are in use widely in comparable settings where they have  eliminated or sharply reduced algae growth. And, they never give up. They run year-round, powered by solar panels that also charge onboard batteries for night power. SolarBees operate with little to no maintenance, constantly churning the water and keeping themselves ice-free in the process.

While Loveland Water and Power’s war-on-algae program will add components as the summer goes on, the launch of the SolarBees shows the battle is already under way. 



The Future of Loveland’s Wastewater Treatment Plant
posted 5/4/2017
Construction on the long-awaited $32M expansion project at the Loveland Water and Power (LWP) Wastewater Treatment Plant has begun. The project has been in the works for more than four years and is slated for completion in September 2019.

Colorado's Snowpack
posted 2/10/2017
Colorado’s snow pack is our largest and most vital water storage feature. Even in the wake of a long, unusually warm autumn, our snowpack remains whole because of heavy, wet December storms. Basins across the state taut storage so far above the average mark, you would have to go back to the 1950s to find a comparable season.

Celebrate the Splendor of the Season While Avoiding Holiday Hazards

posted 12/19/2016
While the holiday season is considered the most “wonderful time of the year,” it’s important to keep in mind that it’s also the most dangerous time of the year for home fires.

Summer 2016: A look back

posted 9/22/2016
As we say goodbye to summer 2016 we share a look back at a few Loveland Water and Power highlights from the last three months.

Rain barrels are officially legal in Colorado for residents!
posted 8/10/2016
Colorado passed HB 16-1005 earlier this year, of which became effective today, August 10, 2016. So… What do you need to know before you get started?

Trust Your Tap
posted 2/9/2016
Loveland residents don’t often think about their tap water until...

Loveland Energy Challenge 2015 
posted 12/22/2015
Thompson School District students broadened their understanding of sustainability and living lightly on the Earth through the Loveland Energy Challenge...

The Spooky Truth About Energy Vampires
posted 10/22/2015

Beware! Energy vampires may be lurking in your home. What is an energy vampire?...

Innovation Award Given to City of Loveland
posted 5/21/2015
It is the mission of the City of Loveland to provide services, programs and community engagement with creativity and innovation. Recently, the City of Loveland has demonstrated that effort by...

Drinking Water Week 2015!
posted 4/29/2015
Loveland Water and Power will highlight their Passport to Water and Power event, water quality reports, a virtual tour of their water treatment plant, and offer “Colorado Water: Live Like You Love It...

Expanding Renewable Generation 
posted 3/6/2015
Loveland Water and Power (LWP) strives to provide the most reliable power to our City while helping our customers to keep more of their money...

Ebola's Fragility
posted 11/12/2014
Swirling around in the storm that carries fear and mistruths about Ebola is the cold hard fact...
Public Power: The Community - Owned Advantage
posted 10/6/2014
October 5-11 is Public Power Week, a time when communities across the United States celebrate the advantages of public power...

"The Waterfall"
posted 8/25/2014
My family considered the Idylwilde Dam a landmark along the long, windy road to Estes Park...

Expansion in the Midst of Rehabilitation 
posted 6/23/2014
Nobody likes to wait in line on a hot summer day for the man in the orange vest to turn the sign that says “Proceed Slowly.”...

Local Leader Drives Electric
posted 4/30/2014
Drive Electric Northern Colorado recently received a message from a local leader in Loveland, Colorado—Pastor Woody Carlson. Pastor Woody heard about DENC from the local newspaper and contacted the program because he drives a Chevy Volt and wanted to...

Supporting young adults with diverse work history and educational backgrounds. 
posted 2/11/2014
The Larimer County Conservation Corps (LCCC) has partnered with Loveland Water and Power, Fort Collins Utilities and the Platter River Power Authority for another season of...

$10 for a light bulb?! You must be crazy!
posted 11/26/2013
Tis the season. The days are getting shorter, and the nights are getting longer. This means the amount of time your lights are on at home is increasing, and because of this you may soon need to replace a few bulbs. If you haven’t shopped for bulbs recently...

Loveland Water and Power and Our Community: Celebrating Public Power Week
posted 10/07/2013
In your daily life, how many times do you flip a light switch; plug in a cell phone, or power on your TV or computer? Have you considered how this energy is brought to your very fingertips and how it is provided safely and reliably? Please celebrate...

Benefits of an Engaged Citizenry on Water Supply
posted 9/6/2013
LWP has been delivering drinking water to customers in the Loveland area since 1887. Today, LWP serves a population of more than 65,000 water customers with a service territory of an estimated...


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