Written by Industry Expert Brent Weber, Environmental Scientist and Territory Leader
Lake and pond aeration systems are used to circulate the water and add dissolved oxygen. The benefits of aeration systems are many; aeration helps enhance fish habitats, improve water quality, regulate temperature in advance of spring and fall turnover, reduce algae, remove harmful nutrients, breakdown adverse bacteria, prevent mosquito infestations and remove foul odors from a waterbody. Most of the time, however, a lake or pond does not have access to the proper electrical source to power an installed system. This is when a solar aeration system or a windmill aerator can serve as a valuable cornerstone to a lake or pond management strategy.
When it comes to power availability, we as lake managers run into this hurdle quite often. We may be called to a private residence, a golf course or a community that has a lake or pond off the beaten path. And depending on the health of the waterbody, an aeration system is usually an excellent first step in developing a sustainable lake management program. The hurdle of power availability can be easily jumped by utilizing the various types of solar and wind-powered aeration systems on the market today.
Both solar aeration systems and windmill aerators use the natural systems that are freely available to us - the sustainable power of the sun and wind - to work in largely the same way as a traditional submersed aeration system. With a solar aeration system, a photovoltaic solar panel captures the sun’s rays and then a converter transfers the sun’s direct current (DC) into alternating current (AC), powering an on-shore compressor. The compressor then pumps air through bottom-weighted tubing to strategically placed diffusers in the lake. The corresponding air is released into the lake through the diffusers, adding dissolved oxygen and effectively mixing the water body. Windmill-powered aeration systems work in a similar way. The power of the wind is captured by a turbine and converted into useable electricity for the on-shore compressor. Both kinds of systems have been around for quite some time, but great strides have been made in efficiency and reliability over the past decade. They have evolved to include different systems like battery back-ups and improved air and solar capture technology to provide better power and work even on cloudy or relatively wind-less days.
Overall, the addition of aeration to a lake or pond is going to help ensure a longer and healthier lifespan for your waterbody. And with new efforts and strides in solar and wind technology since the rise of alternative energy sources, we have really opened up the ability to aerate any lake or pond that was previously restricted due to its poor access to power. If you feel that your lake or pond may be a good candidate for solar or wind powered aeration, let the professionals at SOLitude help determine which system is the best choice for your property.
Contact the experts at 888-480-LAKE (5253) for all of your lake, pond and fisheries management needs.
Brent Weber is an Environmental Scientist and Territory Leader serving clients and their waterbodies throughout Nashville, TN and surrounding areas. Brent is passionate about restoring the natural balance of the varied ecosystems he services and is driven by his ability to have a direct impact on the environment.SOLitude Lake Management is committed to providing