Lago di Varese, Italy
In-lake trials with Phoslock commenced in Lake Varese in Northern Italy in February 2009. The 14 km2 lake, which is situated between Lakes Como and Maggiore, has well known eutrophication issues caused by elevated levels of phosphorus and the Provincial Government is committed to improving its ecological condition. The decision to proceed to in-lake trials was made following several years of laboratory testing of Phoslock within the Province. The aim of the trials is to demonstrate the effectiveness of Phoslock in reducing phosphorus levels in the lake while ensuring that an application of Phoslock to the lake will not have a negative effect on the lake's ecosystem.
The trial involves the installation of three mesocosms in the lake - two of which have been treated with Phoslock and one of which remains untreated. Each mesocosm is effectively a long cylinder, 2m in diameter and 15m in length, extending from the surface of the water body to the sediment. A webcam installed on shore continually records the mesocosms and real time images can be seen on this page.
The trial ran without interruption between February and July 2009, however a major storm event in the Varese region in July 2009 caused damage to parts of the mesocosm system. As a result, it became necessary to interrupt the trial while repairs were carried out. At the same time, it was decided to use this opportunity to make a number of improvements to the system in order to improve its ability to withstand similar weather events in the future. This work was completed in November 2009 and the trial has been recommenced. The trial has run until November 2010.