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Benefits of Aeration – Why Aerate Your Pond?
There are many benefits that arise from aerating your pond. Many ponds and lakes contain moderate to high amounts of nutrients (namely, phosphorus and nitrogen). Elevated nutrient levels can adversely impact fish, other aquatic organisms and water quality during the summer months. Too many nutrients in ponds and lakes can result in accelerated rates of eutrophication.
Eutrophication is a process whereby ponds and lakes receive high nutrient loadings that stimulate excessive plant growth (algae and aquatic plants). Dissolved oxygen concentrations can severely decline when large amounts of algae (algal bloom) and aquatic plants begin to decompose. In turn, very low dissolved oxygen concentrations can cause other aquatic organisms to die. Nutrients can come from many sources, such as fertilizers applied to agricultural fields, golf courses, suburban lawns, soil erosion, streambank erosion and sewage treatment plant discharges. The symptoms of eutrophication are:
- Low Dissolved Oxygen Concentrations
- Poor Water Clarity (Transparency)
- Algal Blooms (Excessive Amounts of Algae)
- Excessive Quantities of Aquatic Plants (Weeds)
- High Dissolved Metal Concentrations (Iron & Manganese)
- Stress to Fishery and Other Forms of Aquatic Life (Fish Kills)
- Shallowness Due to the Accumulation of Sediments
- Nutrient Releases via Anoxic In-Lake Sediments
- Buildup and Release of Noxious Odors
Professional pond and lake manager have a number of scientifically proven tools to properly manage eutrophic water bodies. One of the most common tools in their toolbox are pond aerators. Pond aeration is the process of adding more air or more specifically, more dissolved oxygen into the water. Pond aerators are frequently implemented with other lake management restoration practices such as applying algaecides and aquatic herbicides to control nuisance quantities of algae and aquatic plants, respectively.
The two most common methods for aerating ponds and lakes are diffused-air aeration systems and installing water fountains. Of the two, diffused-air aeration systems are much more cost-effective and require far less maintenance. In many instances, water fountains will not completely circulate/mix ponds and lakes if their water depths exceed five feet. In addition water fountains are prone to clog if substantial amounts of filamentous algae are present.
Many pond and lake owners find water fountains very attractive as a water feature. For these individuals, Hydro Logic recommends installing both water fountains and diffused-air aeration systems. This is especially true when highly eutrophic pond or lake conditions exist. Overall, the water fountains will primarily serve as attractive water features, while the diffused-air aeration systems will be responsible for providing the bulk of the water mixing and aeration.
Diffused-air aeration systems like the Hydro Logic AirLift and AirLift XL series can significantly improve water quality and ecological health of ponds and lakes. Increased dissolved oxygen concentrations allow for decreased amounts of available nutrients throughout the water body. This translates into lower amounts of algae resulting in improved water clarity. Aeration also allows for less noxious, poisonous gases (methane and hydrogen sulfide) to be generated. The end result is healthier ponds and lakes for fish and all forms of aquatic life.