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Solving the mystery of the Duck Lake debris

A commuter sent a news tip to 9NEWS wondering why "trash" remains with no clean-up.

LARIMER COUNTY, Colo. — For several weeks now, something about a place called Duck Lake in Larimer County has been bugging Windsor resident Justin Morales.

"All along here, there's all these floating devices in the water," Morales said. "Don't know exactly what they are, but you could see the ducks swimming among them."

He drives by Duck Lake near Highway 392 and Carpenter Road every week on his way to work in Fort Collins.

"Love nature and every time I drive by this, I was just trying to figure out what's going on here," Morales said. "It looked like possible pollution and trash that had blown into the duck pond."

Morales was worried that this debris would be harmful to the hundreds of ducks who flock there every day.

"It was just bothering me, was gonna go get a kayak and go try to fix the problem myself and go try to clean it up," Morales said.

He still didn't know what "it" was.

"Be cool to know what it is," Morales said.

While 9NEWS contacted the City of Fort Collins for answers. Morales went hunting along the Duck Lake shore looking for a clue. He found part of a swim noodle with a groove in the middle like it had a rope around it.

"Well, it looks like there was something that was really tied on there, so I wonder if something was attached to it," Morales said.

There was. It was put there by the City of Fort Collins and Natural Areas Manager Mark Sears.

"We had a complaint early in the summer about odors coming from Duck Lake," Sears said.

He says odors caused by the growing and decaying algae caused problems in nearby neighborhoods. So, they tried a new product called Biochar to control the smell. That is what was tied to the swim noodles to mark the spots for Sears and his workers.

"They're Biochar filters and they're in a two-foot-long mesh bag and they're anchored to the bottom of the lake," Sears said.

Morales was relieved to hear the answer from the City of Fort Collins.

"Interesting, yeah, it's interesting you say that cause a lot of times, when I drive by there, there's kind of a sulfur-y smell when you went by and it hasn't been like that lately," Morales said.

Sears applauds Morales' interest and concerns.

"We very appreciate people contacting us if they have concerns or they see something they don't understand," Sears said.

Now, that something won't keep Morales up at night anymore.

"Literally, every day, I drive past there, it bothers me and so now I can go home and not worry about it anymore," Morales said.

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