Lakes and ponds have many different functions: they collect sediment and flowing water during rain storms, they operate as fishing spots for angling enthusiasts and they serve as beautiful ecosystems for communities to enjoy year-round. But when left unmanaged, they can develop physical and chemical imbalances that may jeopardize the lifespan of the waterbody and the wellbeing of the surrounding ecosystem.
When imbalances do occur in a lake or pond, one of the initial strategies recommended by professionals to help restore balance and prevent future problems is the introduction of a lake aeration system. Lake aeration may not be the first solution that comes to mind when encountering a lake covered in weeds and algae, but the resulting oxygenation can make an immense difference when utilized effectively and as part of a comprehensive management plan.
The benefits of an oxygenated lake or pond are enormous. Oxygenation can help reduce undesirable algae by facilitating the conversion of phosphorus to forms that do not sustain algae growth. It can also adjust pH and other related water quality parameters to help improve the growth of fish, native organisms and healthy green phytoplankton – rather than cyanobacteria species, which can be toxic to humans and wildlife. Most importantly, improved oxygenation and water circulation can help reduce the accumulation of sediment at the bottom of the waterbody, which is one of the most common signs of an aging pond. As a result, the waterbody is naturally healthier and is less likely to require algaecide treatments or costly dredging.
Depending on the unique goals and characteristics of the waterbody, two types of lake aeration systems may be considered.
Shallow lakes and ponds can benefit from surface lake aeration fountains, which spray water into the air in a variety of aesthetically-pleasing patterns depending on nozzle type. Beneficial oxygenation occurs when the water splashes back down onto the pond, allowing for submerged gases to escape at the surface. While surface aeration fountains are best suited for shallow waterbodies, other systems may be used to target deep lakes and ponds.
Submersed diffused aeration systems can help oxygenate the lower depths that floating fountains can’t reach, particularly in deep lakes and ponds. Submersed aeration systems utilize a weather protected on-shore compressor to pump air through a subsurface tube to submerged bubble diffusers. As the bubbles rise, they carry the low oxygen water from the bottom towards the surface, where it mixes with the oxygen rich surface water and atmospheric oxygen before sinking back to the bottom. The continuous vertical mixing helps to increase dissolved oxygen concentration throughout the entire waterbody.
The benefits of lake aeration are not just limited to lakes and ponds near electrical power sources.
Solar aeration systems and wind powered lake aeration systems facilitate the introduction of lake aeration to remote locations, and can also serve as an eco-friendly alternative for those interested in reducing their environmental footprint. While these systems still utilize an on-shore compressor that pumps air to the depths of the waterbody, the source of power is naturally-occurring wind or sunlight. A back-up battery will ensure the lake aeration systems continue working when the wind isn’t blowing or the sun is down. Solar and wind powered aerators still require professional maintenance on a regular basis, but unlike traditional products, the minimal cost of power allows the systems to pay for themselves over time.
No two waterbodies are alike, but no matter the function they serve in a community, all lakes and ponds can benefit from lake aeration. A professional can help identify the best types of systems for your specific waterbody and proper placement, while helping you develop a comprehensive management plan to sustainably enhance the aquatic environment. In addition to lake aeration, a long-term management plan nurtures all areas of the ecosystem through the introduction of beneficial vegetative buffers, nuisance and invasive species management and seasonal water quality testing by a licensed professional. With regular maintenance and attention, your lake or pond can look healthy and beautiful while efficiently performing as intended.
Contact us today at 888.840.LAKE to find the aeration solution that is right for your property.
SOLitude Lake Management is committed to providing full service lake and pond management services that improve water quality, preserve natural resources, and reduce our environmental footprint. Our services include lake, pond and fisheries management programs, algae and aquatic weed control, mechanical harvesting, installation and maintenance of fountains and aeration systems, water quality testing and restoration, bathymetry, lake vegetation studies, biological assessments, habitat assessments, invasive species management and nuisance wildlife management. Lake, pond and fisheries management services, consulting, and aquatic products are available nationwide. Learn more about SOLitude Lake Management and purchase products at www.solitudelakemanagement.com.