By Samantha Rivera
Going green at Rider University no longer refers to just recycling. It has taken on a new meaning taking the green out of Centennial Lake.
Facilities is using ultrasonic waves from a program called Sonic Solutions in the lake to get rid of the algae. The ultrasonic waves are not only economically friendlier for the University, but are more environmentally safe, especially for the different types of fish that live in the lake, according to the Sonic Solutions official website.
“They used to bring a barge in before the start of every school year to get rid of the algae,” said Melissa Greenberg, sustainability coordination manager.
“It was very costly and left a carbon footprint, which is never a good thing.”
Sonic Solutions, on the other hand, works 24-hours a day and reaches algae eight acres across. It doesn’t require any maintenance, so facility workers will not have to sacrifice more time or energy. Sonic Solutions also uses less than 10 watts of power, so it does not run on a high level of electricity, also stated on the website.
According to Lawrence Toth, manager of the grounds, there are other ways to extract algae including using chemicals, but that was not the preferred method. If too much algae builds up, it will decrease the amount of oxygen in the water and make it more difficult for fish to survive.
“I think the option of using ultrasonic waves to clean Centennial Lake is amazing,” said Emily Mazzio, co-host of Rider’s radio show Sustainable You. “It just as effectively kills algae as a barge would except it is so much better for the environment. I expect nothing less from Rider — they have such high standards when it comes to lightening the University’s carbon footprint.”
The ultrasonic waves being used in the lake transmit a varying degree of high frequencies. This method of extracting algae does not affect the fish or the other plant life in the water; it just kills the algae. If too much algae does accumulate in the lake, it can cause discoloration in the water, most commonly green, but can develop yellow-brown or reddish discoloration.
“I think it’s a good and harmless way to control algae,” said Dr. Laura Hyatt, the assistant dean for sciences.
This method of extracting algae is not only economically beneficial, but helps the aquatic life that resides in the lake since the algae can have toxic effects on fish.
This consideration is not just a way of “going green.” It shows the careful observations and dedication that Rider has not only for the small and scaly members of the University, but for its students as well. This is something Mazzio feels Rider excels at doing.
“Using Sonic Solution’s ultrasonic waves is just another notch on Rider’s sustainability belt,” Mazzio said. “I think this is a great and environmentally friendly way, to clean up Centennial Lake, and I am proud to say that I am a student who is enrolled in such an environmentally conscious university such as Rider.”
Additional reporting by Jen Maldonado.