Bel Marin Keys Diffused Aeration System: A Successful Case Study, partnership with Kasco Marine and BioBase
The objective of this project was to increase dissolved oxygen concentrations in several stagnant coves of an 88-surface acre coastal lagoon community. The coves, which ranged in depth from 22 ft to 40 ft, had existing CleanFlow and Airmax diffused aeration systems which were defunct due to lack of maintenance but also obsolete due to their age. LakeTech set out to make bathymetric maps and collected the water quality data needed to design a new, highly efficient, diffused aeration system.
To address the low dissolved oxygen concentrations in the stagnant coves, LakeTech opted to install a high-efficiency diffused aeration system. The system was deigned to induce vertical mixing within the water column thereby promoting gas exchange at the surface. While some gas is dissolved into the water during this process, a majority of the benefit from these types of systems is realized by inducing the movement of large volumes of water using the gas bubbles - not from dissolving them. To achieve this goal, LakeTech recommended using Kasco’s newly released Large Aire-Guard Cabinet technology paired with their dual-loop diffusers.
LakeTech implemented its proprietary platform integration with BioBase Maps, the only commercial, cloud-platform, specifically focused on automating the processing and creation of bathymetric maps from off-the shelf sonar. Using a conventional Lowrance chart plotter to accurately collect data, and visualize the bathymetry in real-time with Lowrance’s Genesis Live feature, staff could immediately begin to visualize the needs of the project with a high level of specificity. Within a few hours of getting off the water we were able to start to design a highly customized aeration system tailored to the exact contours of the Lagoon.
Using LakeTech’s proprietary lake management and monitoring platform, we were able to quickly generate depth profile graphs and overlay real-time water quality monitoring data to track dissolved oxygen, temperature and a host of other parameters over several weeks. Within only a few days of installing the first Kasco system, the thermocline was already disrupted and dissolved oxygen concentrations in the deepest sections of the project were already elevated to above 5 mg/L.
The implementation of the aeration system resulted in a number of benefits for the lagoon community. By increasing the dissolved oxygen in the water, the team was able to improve the clarity and overall health and quality of the water. The use of mapping and real-time data collection tools allowed for the proper design of a customized aeration system that was highly effective and was also a valuable deliverable for the client in and of itself. As a result of the installation, after only 10 days, the dissolved oxygen saturation in the deepest sections of the lagoon stayed consistently above 85%, up from as low as 8% in one of the coves. This site posed many challenges, however, with the right tools and the right equipment, we were able to restore this water body and create a healthier and more sustainable lagoon environment for the whole community.