How Alum Can Create Safe and Clean Lakes for Your Citizens
Clean water is essential to keeping communities healthy and safe, but managing public water sources is challenging. Lakes and reservoirs overrun with algae and nuisance weeds endanger citizens who use the water for recreation. Algal toxins can also produce foul taste and odor compounds in drinking water. Unhealthy water can have reverberating effects on tourism, result in non-compliance with state or federal regulations, and lead to angry calls and complaints to public water managers.
We understand the pressure that comes with maintaining clean water, especially when your time and budget are limited. That’s why we recommend eco-friendly tools like alum to quickly and cost-effectively restore balance to lakes and reservoirs.
What is alum?
Alum (aluminum sulfate) is a natural substance found throughout the earth’s crust. It has been used to maintain healthy water resources for over 60 years and is endorsed by the North American Lake Management Society (NALMS). When applied to lakes and reservoirs, it helps purify the water by binding with nutrients like phosphorus. In aquatic ecosystems, nutrients play a crucial role in supporting the food chain, but excessive amounts can lead to nuisance growth of algae and weeds. When water conditions are balanced, nuisance growth is less likely to occur.
How alum helps improve lake water quality
Once alum is applied to the water, it creates a clump of particles called a floc that binds with phosphorus that is freely floating in the water column. The water appears very cloudy for a short time as the particles settle to the floor of the waterbody. The settled floc dissolves, providing millions of phosphorus-binding sites that can stay active for years, effectively blocking the release of phosphorus from the sediment. Soon after the application, the water will become clearer and should continue to improve for weeks and months. If the lake is well-maintained, these results can last many years or decades, helping to provide safe, clean, odor-free water for boating, fishing, swimming, drinking, gardening, irrigation, and more.
The importance of partnering with experienced professionals
For optimal results, licensed professionals must conduct the application. While natural, mishandled alum applications can disrupt pH levels, raising public concerns about potential toxicity risks. Applicators should have experience applying pH buffers and understand proper product ratios to minimize risks and maximize results. An experienced company should also have the necessary expertise to comply with the permits mandated by various states. The process of obtaining a permit can be difficult. SOLitude has decades of experience navigating the permitting process, as well as helping stakeholders secure funding through state and federal grants.
Extend alum's benefits with ongoing maintenance
Partnering with an experienced lake management provider comes with other benefits. For knowledgeable professionals, alum is just one tool in the lake management toolbox. To prolong the positive results of an alum treatment, ongoing maintenance using proactive solutions like fountains and aeration, regular water quality testing, biological bacteria applications, shoreline and buffer management, and sediment removal are key. This strategic approach can help stakeholders preserve the investment they made in their alum application. Proactive strategies may also help public water managers cut costs over time by preventing water quality issues before they manifest.
Maintain safe, clean water for citizens
The water managers responsible for the safety of public lakes and drinking water reservoirs carry a heavy weight of responsibility on their shoulders, and may feel like they’re constantly under a microscope of the public and government leaders as a result. Experienced lake management firms like SOLitude can help shoulder this burden, allowing water managers to focus on their other critical tasks as public servants.
Your goal is to keep the public safe. We share that goal. Allow us to support you through a proactive program that incorporates alum and other impactful solutions. Contact the experts at SOLitude today.
SOLitude Lake Management is a nationwide environmental firm committed to providing sustainable solutions that improve water quality, enhance beauty and preserve natural resources.
SOLitude’s team of aquatic scientists specializes in the development and execution of customized lake, stormwater pond, wetland and fisheries management programs. Services include water quality testing and restoration, algae and aquatic weed control, installation and maintenance of fountains and aeration systems, shoreline erosion control, muck and sediment removal and invasive species management. SOLitude partners with homeowners associations, golf courses, private landowners, businesses and municipalities. SOLitude Lake Management is part of Rentokil, a leading business services company, operating across the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.