Written by Industry Expert Kyle Finerfrock, Environmental Scientist
One of the great tools in a lake or pond manager’s tool box is the use of floating and subsurface aeration systems in a waterbody. Aeration is the mixing of water in a lake or pond to increase exposure to the atmosphere and decrease harmful gases like hydrogen sulfide within the aquatic ecosystem. A healthy waterbody that is well aerated will have suitable oxygen levels from the bottom to the surface.
Now, you may be wondering: why is it important to increase the oxygen levels in my pond? The benefits of an oxygenated lake or pond are tremendous. Oxygenation can help limit nuisance vegetation and algae by facilitating the conversion of pond nutrients to forms that do not sustain algae growth. Improved oxygenation and water circulation can also help reduce the accumulation of sediment at the bottom of the waterbody, which is one of the most common signs of an aging pond. Organisms that thrive in low or zero oxygen (anoxic) conditions promote poor waterbody health. A lake or pond that has no aeration will likely have anoxic conditions at depths greater than 8 feet deep in the summer months. In this zone, anaerobic bacteria can produce ammonia and hydrogen sulfide, which can be toxic to other organisms and produce foul odors. Anoxic conditions can also change the chemistry of a lake or pond. For example, pond nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus promote nuisance algae growth and can become excessive when low oxygen conditions exist in the aquatic environment