Awhile back, I commented on the finding that abandoned swimming pools at foreclosed houses are producing a boom in mosquito-borne infections. Now, it seems, some Floridians have found a way to deal with at least one aspect of the abandoned pool problem:
Debra Mitchell, a code enforcement officer in Wellington, said the town is using catfish to clean pools in homes foreclosed on amid the devastated housing market. Officials were previously spending nearly $7,000 a month of taxpayer funds on chemicals to keep the stagnant pools sanitary.
"Some of us got clever and decided to try the fish-eating...er algae eating fish," Mitchell told NBC affiliate WPTV-5.
At a typical home, the town drops 15 algae-eating fish in the pool to keep the water clean. In addition to being a potential health hazard, Mitchell believes that cleaner more sanitary pools will make the houses more attractive to buyers, as will the lower fees for upkeep.
The catfish aren't likely to fix the mosquito problem, but if someone can encourage the town to add a few Gambusia to the mix, that would probably help.
Don't see this every day. From the excellent Dovdox, Alan Dove's scijo blog: