Mandolin Canal Bubble Curtain Pilot Project

The City of Cape Coral has awarded Vertex a contract for an AirGate bubble curtain system installation project. The system will run across the mouth of the Mandolin canal. The bubble curtain test will determine it’s effectiveness in keeping cyanobacteria in the river from entering and contaminating the Mandolin canal and its associated waterways.

Vertex AirGate systems have proven to be successful in Monroe County in other applications. These systems are highly effective in blocking floating seaweed and light debris from entering and polluting waterbodies. Similar systems are found in multiple canals, marinas and private dock areas from Key Largo to Big Pine. However, using this technology to block floating cyanobacteria blooms has not previously been attempted.

Bubble Curtain Installation Test

Vertex has agreed to install and run the AirGate system for a three-week test period. During that time City of Cape Coral personnel will evaluate the system’s ability to block cyanobacteria from entering the canal. If the AirGate system proves ineffective in blocking cyanobacteria, the city may elect to extend the testing period or have Vertex remove the system and the city will not incur any costs.

The equipment includes a 12-horsepower compressor system that supplies air through hoses to forty-four membrane bubble diffuser assemblies lined up across the bottom of the 240-foot-wide Mandolin canal mouth. Air from the compressor system exits the membrane diffusers forming a wall of bubbles across the canal. This wall of bubbles pump water to the surface forming large boils, similar to a natural spring, of outward flowing water that provides the kinetic energy to push and deflect away floating cyanobacteria trying to enter the canal from the river.

Installation of the AirGate system occurred on October 24th.

Vertex is a science and engineering company that designs and manufactures pond, lake and canal aeration systems. This equipment provides sustainable water quality solutions to interested lake and canal owners, developers and government agencies throughout the world.

Bubble Curtains Keep Canals and Marinas Clear of Debris


Vertex Aquatic Solutions, founded in 1977, is the professionals’ choice for research based scientific consulting services, aeration systems, floating fountains, bubble curtains and biological products to enhance water quality in lakes, ponds, canals, marinas and reservoirs. As respected leaders in the lake management industry the Vertex team of aquatic biologists, limnologists, fisheries scientists and engineers work together to deliver science-based, environmentally sound solutions to complex waterbody issues. Our products and services are delivered through an international network of qualified, experienced waterbody professionals who provide local support, service and pond management expertise to customers.

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