What Is The Best Type of Pond Aeration?
The benefits of aeration to the overall health of a lake or pond are many and far-reaching. Fish kills from low dissolved oxygen can be prevented in most waterbodies with the installation of an aeration system. Foul odors from anoxically produced hydrogen sulfide gas will be greatly reduced as bottom water mixes and becomes oxygenated. Aeration systems and commercial ponds fountains can help break down organic sludge and convert limiting nutrients such as nitrates and phosphates into forms that will not directly fertilize algal blooms. However you look at it, pond aeration is one of the leading components of improved water quality and a sustainable and healthy aquatic ecosystem.
There are several different types of aeration. The most common are sub-surface diffusers and floating fountain aerators. Other effective, but more energy-efficient options are solar-powered aerators and windmill aerators. There are a lot of factors that go into determining which is best for your specific waterbody and property. The characteristics of your pond (its size, shape, depth, and flow), your personal preference, and your budget are the main determining factors for which type of aeration is best suited for you and your pond. In addition, each type of system offers varieties in sizes and shapes for a customized approach for your waterbody.
Floating fountain aerators offer both the aeration and aesthetic quality that many people desire. The only downside of fountain aeration is that the aeration is generally localized and works great for ponds that are symmetrical shapes like oval, square, triangular, or round. They work by taking in water from the upper few feet of water and throwing it into the air, where it picks up oxygen. The induced circulation this causes creates a cycle of returning oxygenated water to the pond. Irregular-shaped ponds can benefit from just fountain aeration, but more units would be needed to achieve uniform aeration for the whole pond, with a potentially higher cost.
Submersed pond aeration systems, or bottom diffused systems, release oxygen directly into the water column at precise locations within the pond. These systems can supply aeration for any pond, but work extremely well for irregular-shaped ponds such as kidney-shaped or long and narrow ponds. In irregular-shaped ponds, fountain surface aerators are generally limited because they are placed centrally in an effort to cover the most surface; however, this creates dead zones in the odd-shaped areas of the pond. In these situations, surface aerators will almost always have to be supplemented with submersed aeration to achieve the ideal aeration for the pond. Using all submersed aeration systems in irregular-shaped ponds will create the best overall aeration and will, in most cases, cost you slightly less than surface aeration. The best option in dealing with ponds of irregular shapes where the community wants the aesthetic look of a fountain but needs to aerate parts of the pond that a fountain may not reach is to install a fountain nearest to the center of the pond and add diffused aeration to the outlying areas of the pond.
Solar Aeration Systems
Solar pond aerator systems are great for both remote installations and environmentally conscious applications. They are designed for aquatic environments in a variety of sizes from ornamental ponds up to 5-acre lakes. These fully automatic systems are designed to run up to 20 hours per day under standard operating conditions. The battery backup system allows them to run normally under less-than-optimal conditions. A solar pond aerator is a very effective and low-cost solution for your aeration needs as it offers unbelievable savings over electric-powered aeration systems.
Windmill Aeration Systems
Windmill pond aerators are a good alternative to traditional systems when your site has limited access to power. With innovative advances in technology, windmills can operate more effectively with less maintenance than ever before. Windmills are great in remote locations where electric power is not available or in ponds where intense aeration is not necessary. In some situations teaming windmill units with electric-powered aeration systems is a great choice. Many times windmill aeration can provide sufficient aeration throughout the day, but as the wind diminishes throughout the night, powered aeration on a programmable timer could be used to fill the void, reducing electric costs while helping the environment. Windmills can be customized with different color powder-coated paints, making them aesthetically pleasing. Also using logos or artwork, each windmill can be unique to the individual property.
Oxygen Saturation Technology and Nanobubbles
New technologies like Oxygen Saturation Technology and Nanobubbles Technology also introduce dissolved oxygen into waterbodies. Both systems have their own unique functionality and do not provide the same benefits as traditional aeration systems. Depending on your management goals, Oxygen Saturation Technology or Nanobubble Technology may be excellent tools to help improve water quality.
Every pond is unique and both you and your pond have individual needs. Your local lake and pond management professionals can advise you on which method(s) of aeration is best for your particular waterbody and budget. Aeration systems can seem like a big investment, but they will protect a bigger investment by ensuring a long and healthy life for your pond!
SOLitude Lake Management is a nationwide environmental firm committed to providing sustainable solutions that improve water quality, enhance beauty, preserve natural resources and reduce our environmental footprint. SOLitude’s team of aquatic resource management professionals specializes in the development and execution of customized lake, pond, wetland, and fisheries management programs that include water quality testing and restoration, nutrient remediation, algae, and aquatic weed control, installation and maintenance of fountains and aeration systems, bathymetry, shoreline erosion restoration, mechanical harvesting and hydro-raking, lake vegetation studies, biological assessments, habitat evaluations, and invasive species management. Services and educational resources are available to clients nationwide, including homeowners associations, multi-family and apartment communities, golf courses, commercial developments, ranches, private landowners, reservoirs, recreational and public lakes, municipalities, drinking water authorities, parks, and state and federal agencies. SOLitude Lake Management is a proud member of the Rentokil family of companies in North America.