Is Your Waterbody Missing Out On The Benefits Of Aeration?
Lakes and ponds have many different functions: they collect sediment and runoff 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 longevity of the waterbody and the wellbeing of the surrounding ecosystem. When imbalances do occur, one of the initial strategies recommended by professionals to help restore balance and prevent future problems is the introduction of an aeration system.
Aeration may not be the first solution that comes to mind when encountering a waterbody covered in weeds and algae, but the resulting oxygenation can make an immense impact when utilized as part of a comprehensive management plan. In fact, oxygenation technologies have become so advanced, some systems are EPA-registered as algae management tools that can reduce or eliminate the need for algaecides. This solution is called nanobubble technology. Nanobubbles produced by on-shore generators are 1 million times smaller than ordinary bubbles and remain within the water for 2-3 months or more. Rather than rising to the surface, they disperse across the water column where they provide 79,000x the oxygenation benefits of traditional aeration solutions. And because nanobubbles are positively charged, they destroy excess nutrients, pollutants and algae, including dangerous cyanobacteria and the resulting toxins, upon impact.
72 hours after using nanobubble technology.
This unparalleled solution is helping to set new standards for environmentally-friendly aquatic management, but in many cases, traditional aeration systems are still considered an effective option to help with ongoing sustainability.
In deeper waterbodies, submersed aeration systems can help oxygenate the lower depths. A bathymetric study can help identify the unique depths and contours of your waterbody and determine the most effective system placement. 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 concentrations throughout the entire waterbody.
Shallow lakes and ponds, on the other hand, are great candidates for floating fountains, which encourage surface aeration by spraying water into the air in aesthetically-pleasing patterns. Beneficial oxygenation occurs when the water splashes back down onto the pond, allowing for submerged gases to escape at the surface. Surface aeration is very effective in shallow waterbodies because all of the oxygen transfer occurs near the surface. However, it’s not as effective in lakes and ponds more than 6 feet deep because oxygenation cannot be achieved in greater depths near the sediment.
An added benefit of floating fountains is the customization. In addition to choosing the shape and water pattern of your fountain, there are many unique and dramatic lighting options, which can often be adjusted based on the season, holidays or other special events.
Wind and Solar Solutions
No electricity? No problem. The benefits of aeration are not just limited to lakes and ponds near electrical power sources. Solar or wind-powered aeration systems help facilitate the introduction of aeration to remote locations, and can also serve as an eco-friendly alternative for those interested in reducing their environmental footprint. Solar panels use the sun’s rays to create an electrical current, which powers the system’s on-shore compressor. Thanks to a battery back-up, solar panels can power aeration through the night, but are less effective over a period of cloudy days. Similarly, windmills use the force of the wind to generate electrical power. Windmill aeration options can function in as little as 3-5 mph breezes, but are not effective when winds die down.
No matter which system you utilize, the benefits of a well-circulated lake or pond are enormous. While traditional aeration does not directly eradicate undesirable algae and pollutants, the oxygen produced by these systems helps converts excess nutrients to forms that do not sustain algae growth. And all types of aeration systems can help balance pH and other related water quality parameters to help improve the growth of fish, protect native organisms and encourage healthy green phytoplankton. Aeration systems also help prevent thermal stratification, a condition that can lead to fish kills. Finally, improved oxygenation and water circulation can help prevent midge and mosquito activity as well as 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.
Aeration is often the first solution recommended by lake and pond management professionals, but it’s never the last. The positive effects of aeration are greatly reinforced when paired with regular proactive management efforts, which your lake manager can recommend based on the long-term goals of your waterbody. By becoming more engaged with the complex physical and chemical traits of your lake or pond, you can help ensure its beauty and longevity for many years to come.
Contact the experts at 888-480-5253 for all of your lake, pond, wetland and fisheries management needs.
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, stormwater 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 Steritech family of companies in North America.