Blue lagoon: CSU dyes the Lory Student Center lagoon to prevent algae growth

Mackenzie Eldred

CSU Facilities Management has sparked the curiosity of students and staff members as they have been adding a chemical into the Lagoon. The Lagoon, located behind the Lory Student Center and the Transit Center, has turned a bright shade of blue due to the yearly maintenance. 

The CSU Facilities Management Grounds Staff is pouring Aquashade into the pond, said Facilities Associate Director of Operations Sandra Sheahan.

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The purpose of this product is “to prevent algae overgrowth in the Lagoon, as well as to enhance the beauty of the water with a blue-tinted dye,” Sheahan said.

Aquashade helps to limit the amount of sunlight entering the pond water by absorbing specific wavelengths of light needed for photosynthesis. This process limits the growth of algae. As the label states, the best time to apply the product is before the growing season, best if used in the spring, as it helps to eliminate the growth of weeds.

Algae is categorized as a plant, fungi and bacteria that is known to double in number every few hours. Algae consumes carbon dioxide and releases oxygen into the air, and only needs sunlight and a few inorganic nutrients to grow. About 75 percent of the planet’s oxygen comes from photosynthetic algae.

However, it’s important to maintain control over the algae as it can be harmful to the pond causing discoloration and in some cases, be toxic to other life forms.

Aquashade contains a mix of blue and yellow dyes that is EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) approved in all states claiming it as a herbicide formulation for the control of aquatic weeds and algae. The use of Aquashade is not harmful to aquatic plants or other creatures.

Collegian Reporter Mackenzie Eldred can be reached at news@collegian.com or on twitter @KenzieEldred