Lakes and ponds play an important role in local ecosystems. They provide habitats for fish, aquatic plants, and other wildlife.
A healthy lake or pond needs to have a balance between oxygen and nutrients. Without this balance, various problems can occur including algae and aquatic weeds, fish kills, poor water clarity, midge fly swarms, and foul odors.
When bottom sludge and odor-causing bacteria build up in a pond or lake, they can produce foul odors. You can remove these contaminants with dredging equipment, but you should also consider lake aeration for long-term odor control.
Aeration systems such as aerating fountains and bottom-diffused air systems work together to rebalance the water by introducing oxygen into the body, thus eliminating the odor. These systems can effectively eliminate odors, especially when combined with proper dredging techniques.
Another great benefit of aeration is that it can help improve the fish habitat in a pond or lake. Fish need a healthy, oxygen-rich environment to thrive, and they struggle when there’s insufficient dissolved oxygen in the water.
Diffused aeration also disperses oxygen throughout the water column, breaking up the stratification and creating anoxic zones and algal blooms. This improves fish habitat, reduces nutrient levels, and enhances the quality of sports fishing.
Increased Oxygen Levels
Oxygen is the most important nutrient in a lake or pond and is essential for healthy water bodies. It is required by almost all aquatic organisms to survive. Without adequate oxygen, anaerobic organisms (those that do not breathe oxygen) can grow and overtake a water body, leading to poor water quality problems like foul odors, acidification, and toxic byproducts.
Aeration increases dissolved oxygen levels in the water to help reduce algae blooms that produce harmful blue-green and green toxins. It also decreases phosphorus (P) concentrations within the water.
Phosphorus is necessary to support the growth of algal blooms, but once it enters a pond’s ecosystem, it is extremely difficult to remove. Aeration helps lower phosphorus concentrations by using an oxidation reaction that binds the phosphorus to naturally occurring iron.
Aeration systems also help circulate oxygen-rich water and minimize the risk of winter fish kills that can occur under ice due to low dissolved oxygen levels. Aeration also improves conditions for microorganisms that are nature’s sludge and muck reducers.
Increased Water Circulation
Whether it is natural or mechanical, the movement of water helps increase oxygen and circulation throughout your lake or pond. This is beneficial for some reasons; it increases oxygen, reduces algae growth, improves water quality, and helps to maintain a balance in the water.
This increased circulation also helps to break up muck and sediment that can settle at the surface. This helps to prevent the build-up of toxic gases such as hydrogen sulfide, ammonia, and carbon dioxide that can be dangerous for fish.
Aerators can be either surface aeration fountains or diffused aeration systems. The type and size of the system that is best for your water body depends on a variety of factors.
Some aerators, like floating fountains and diffused systems, destratify the water by mixing the separated layers. Alternatively, mechanical systems agitate the water by drawing it up from a depth and spreading it out as it rises to the surface.
Reduced Algae Growth
Excessive algae growth is a problem that can impact lakes, rivers, and streams. Some types of algae, such as cyanobacteria, produce toxic chemicals harmful to fish and other aquatic life, including humans.
Algae blooms are common in water bodies, often caused by excessive nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus. These nutrients are deposited into the water through drainage systems and improperly treated sewage.
When they are present, blooms are unsightly and can deplete dissolved oxygen levels or even generate biotoxins that are toxic to fish and other aquatic animals.
Aeration can help reduce algae growth by increasing oxygen in the water and reducing the need for phosphorus. Oxygen helps aerobic bacteria consume the nitrogen and phosphorus on which algae thrive. Aerators also mix bottom and surface waters, mitigating thermal stratification and producing currents that eliminate stagnant areas.