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    The Nuts and Bolts—and Bubbles—of Lake and Pond Aeration

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Sep 26, 2017

    AS SEEN IN CAI ROCKY MOUNTAIN: Written by Industry Expert Shannon Junior, Aquatic Ecologist and Senior Business Development Consultant

    CAI Rocky MountainThere are few events that can occur in a community pond that cause the amount of anxiety and uproar among the residents as a fish kill. Sure, we get plenty of calls about lake and pond algae blooms and clogged fountains and excessive trash, but nothing creates the level of panic that ensues when there are dead fish floating on the surface of the water. Many residents become concerned that there may have been a toxic spill or illegal dumping incident, or they think that the landscaping company must have used something on the surrounding property that killed the fish. In reality though, most fish kills occur not because of a poisonous substance, but because of low dissolved oxygen conditions in the water.

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    Topics: Aquatic Weeds and Algae, Aeration

    The Importance of Properly-Sized Lake and Pond Aeration

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Sep 07, 2017

    Written by Industry Expert Kyle Finerfrock, Environmental Scientist

    AerationOne 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

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    Topics: Pond Management Best Practices, Aeration

    The Importance of Lake and Pond Aeration Systems

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Jul 20, 2017

    City Center_Fountains_Newport News VA_07.13-491245-edited

    Written by Industry Expert Greg Blackham, Aquatic Specialist

    Choosing the correct aeration delivery system for your lake or pond is one of the most important decisions you will make for the long-term health and balance of your waterbody. Regardless of how big or small your waterbody is, the goal of an aeration system is to evenly spread an adequate amount of dissolved oxygen throughout the entire water column. Lakes and ponds naturally receive dissolved oxygen from several sources, most notably plant respiration and atmospheric surface mixing. This input of oxygen should be equal to or greater than the demand of the aquatic ecosystem. The entire ecosystem of the water needs that dissolved oxygen, whether at the very bottom of the food chain for microbial decomposition, or at the top for largemouth bass and other predator fish. In most cases, it is discovered that the oxygen supply is lacking due to pond nutrient pollution or other stresses caused by people and land development.

    To determine what type of oxygen delivery method or aeration system is appropriate, the waterbody needs to be looked at from several angles. Many online resources recommend aeration systems based on only one or two aspects of the waterbody. To find the best aeration solution, several factors should be considered: 1) overall acreage of the lake or pond, 2) average water depth, 3) maximum water depth, 4) shape of the waterbody, 5) proximity to electricity, 6) desired aesthetics, 7) noise tolerance, 8) water quality. The more information we have, the better we can determine how to spread the dissolved oxygen throughout the entire lake or pond.

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    Topics: Aeration, Aquatics in Brief Newsletters

    No Electricity? Try Wind or Solar Aeration

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   May 18, 2017

    Written by Industry Expert Brent Weber, Environmental Scientist and Territory Leader

    Solar Lake and Pond AerationLake 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.

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    Topics: Aeration

    SOLitude Named World’s 2nd Largest Distributor of AquaMaster Fountains

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Apr 20, 2017

    solitude team accepts aquamaster awardSOLitude Lake Management, an industry leader in lake and pond management, fisheries management and related environmental services for the United States, is pleased to announce that the company was ranked as the second largest distributer of AquaMaster Fountains and Aerators in the world. Prior to the recent achievement, SOLitude was consistently named as one of AquaMaster’s top three distributors for several years. Many of SOLitude’s team members were also recently recognized for capturing aesthetic excellence in the field through AquaMaster’s annual calendar contest.

    SOLitude continually strives to promote beautiful and balanced aquatic ecosystems. As a full-service provider of lake and pond management solutions, the company offers installation, service and repair of all of the high-quality fountains and aerators that it sells. SOLitude partners with AquaMaster, the industry leader in floating lake and pond fountain design and manufacturing, to develop customized aeration solutions for clients throughout the country. Additionally, SOLitude and AquaMaster work together to ensure that the SOLitude team receives regular certifications and training on the latest technology advancements in lake and pond aeration.

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    Topics: SOLitude News, Aeration

    The Solar Solution: Solar Powered Aeration for Lakes and Ponds

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Nov 29, 2016

    By Industry Expert Brent Weber, Environmental Scientist and Territory Leader

    solar-aeration-pond-managementThe list of benefits that an aeration system can provide a lake or pond is endless. Besides helping to enhance fish habitat, improve water quality, reduce algae and remove unwanted nutrients, aeration can also break down unwanted bacteria, help prevent mosquito infestation and remove foul odors from a waterbody—all by circulating the water and adding dissolved oxygen. Sometimes, though, it’s not feasible to install an aeration system in an isolated lake or pond with no economical way to provide a power source. This predicament presents itself in a variety of different areas, including golf course lakes, farm ponds, private waterbodies, and homeowner association stormwater ponds.

    Fortunately, there is a solution for those who are unable to get electric power to their lake or pond. Solar aeration systems were introduced to the lake and pond management market about a decade ago, and have made great strides in their overall effectiveness and efficiency over that time. Instead of going through the hassle or expense of running electricity to an area in need, there are now a variety of viable solar powered alternatives available from many different manufacturers. So, that waterbody on “the other side of the property” can now get the proper attention and aeration it needs to help keep it healthy and balanced.

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    Topics: Aeration, Aquatics in Brief Newsletters

    5 Key Reasons to Use a Lake or Pond Aeration System

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Jul 08, 2016

    Written by Industry Expert, Dave Ellison, Aquatic Biologist and Regional Director

    Fountain in Maryland PondIn many cases, aeration is the most essential component to an effective lake or pond management plan. Aerators increase diffused oxygen in the water, which in turn helps to improve the overall aquatic ecosystem. Aeration is added to a lake or pond by installing either a submersed air diffused unit or a floating fountain. Either type of aeration helps to mitigate the damage caused by excessive nutrient loading, and helps to restore and maintain water quality. Specifically, here are five key reasons to utilize aeration as part of the ongoing management of your lake or pond:

    1. Aeration helps to reduce and eliminate many of the water quality issues that often lead to problematic pond algae blooms. The use of aeration may also result in improved water clarity as well as a reduction in foul odors that are frequently emitted from stagnant waterbodies.

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    Topics: Pond Management Best Practices, Aeration

    Golf Course Pond Management: Crystal Clear

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Jul 05, 2016

    AS SEEN IN Golf Course Industry Magazine, June 2016: Written by Rob Thomas

    Golf_Course_Pond._Evergreen_CountryClub._Haymarket_VA_HunterP_06.15_2_d.jpgSuperintendents are often required to develop an aquatic maintenance plan to care for their courses’ water features. Our experts provide valuable insight to turn you into a pond specialist.

    To maintain an environmentally sound pond, Jim Skorulski, an agronomist with the USGA Green Section, suggests the prevention of nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) from entering the pond system. This is done by managing clippings, using buffers, preventing fertilizer applications and redirecting drain tiles if possible.

    “Secondly, oxygenate the water column to improve water quality and support microbial activity and help reduce nutrient availability,” Skorulski says. “Third, remove nutrient sources or make nutrients unavailable to algae and plants in the pond, i.e. dredging sediments, using alum and other products that bind with nutrients. Fourth (not in importance), deepen the water column. Shallow ponds will always be problematic in regards to aquatic plants and algae.”

    When coming up with a maintenance plan, many superintendents turn to pond specialists, such as David Ellison, aquatic biologist and regional director with SOLitude Lake Management, based in Virginia Beach, Va., who provides lake, pond and fisheries management services, consulting, and aquatic products nationwide.

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    Topics: Aeration, Published Articles

    Pond and Lake Aeration Benefits

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Jan 29, 2016

    Written by Industry Expert, Shannon Junior, Aquatic Ecologist and Territory Leader

    01_SOLitude_Wilkinson_2_AquaMaster_Masters_Lakewood_2HP_Richmond_VA_Brent_Weber_e.jpgAs the regulatory climate in the United States regarding aquatic pesticides becomes more stringent, it is becoming increasingly important to find alternatives to algaecides and herbicides for our algae and nuisance vegetation management programs. The continual and repetitive release of pesticides into the environment for vegetation control is not sustainable or effective, and more environmentally-friendly methods have become necessary. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a comprehensive approach to pest management that includes the use of many alternative strategies prior to or in conjunction with the use of pesticides. The implementation of a long-term, proactive IPM Program for lake and pond management helps to reduce the use of treatment products, while still providing for a healthy and aesthetically pleasing waterbody.

    One of the most commonly recommended Integrated Pest Management strategies for water quality restoration is the installation of an aeration or circulation system. Aeration improves the health of a waterbody by adding oxygen to the system, which facilitates the conversion of phosphorus to forms that are not usable by algae as food. It also alters pH and other related water quality parameters to favor the growth of healthy green phytoplankton at the base of the food chain rather than potentially toxic cyanobacteria species. The end result is a healthier lake or pond with fewer harmful algae blooms, and a reduction in the need for algaecide treatments.

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    Topics: Aeration

    The Benefits of Winter Lake and Pond Aeration

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Nov 17, 2015

    Written by Industry Expert, Jason Luce, Lake Management Scientist, Fisheries & Wildlife Scientist and Certified Lake Manager

    Pond_with_Snow_TownleyFarms_Amherst_VA_MattP_eAerating lakes and ponds as a management tool began as early as the 1950s and was initially used during the winter months to reduce the probability of a fish kill. Later in the 1960s, the idea of aerating your lake to control eutrophication effects and to improve water quality began to take hold. The concept of aeration is a fairly simple one. Aeration introduces compressed air through a diffuser at depth, and causes water to be welled up by a rising plume of air bubbles. Surface aeration is another method that typically uses an impeller, forcing air and water from the surface of your pond or lake upwards, landing on the surface waters, increasing the diffusion of oxygen into your pond or lake (fountain aeration). Aeration has become a widely used and accepted lake management tool to increase dissolved oxygen levels within a waterbody, but as an effective tool it must be utilized correctly during the summer AND winter months.

    So why aerate during the winter? Well let’s take a closer look at what is really going on in your pond during these colder months and use our findings to understand the cause of a dreaded fish kill.

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    Topics: Aeration, Seasonal Pond Tips