Lake Aeration

It is a common misconception that the individual bubbles from a diffuser are transferring oxygen into the water. While it is true that the bubbles transfer between 1 to 3 % of their gas into the water per foot or rise, the majority of the oxygen transfer happens at the water's surface, where water comes into contact with the atmosphere.

Diffused Aeration

The objective of a diffused aeration system is therefore not to dissolve gas into water, but rather to cause vertical lift of the water, moving bottom water that is low in dissolved oxygen to the surface, where the gas exchange occurs. To complicate matters, as surface water heats up in spring and summer, the density of that water changes. This results in the stratification of a lake which prevents mixing with the bottom layers. Having a bathymetric map commissioned is the best way to ensure your system design will be suitable.

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Limitation of Diffusers

  • The limitations of diffused aeration listed just above are why we often rely on fountains. These are an ideal tool to move and circulate water in shallow waterbodies or in areas with isolated coves or dead zones. Choosing the right type of fountain is all dependent on the depths and shape of the lake. A moderately sized fountain can draw water up from 7' below the surface which in turn also creates horizontal water circulation.
  • The next step is to set goals and develop a management strategy based on a systematic approach.
  • The management strategy will involve a number of different tactics,
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Oxygenation, Aspirators & Nanobubbles.

This last category of "aeration" gets very technical and we will not go too in depth here, only to say, significant research about your site would be required to implement many of these tools successfully. They are not something one would typically buy online or because a sales person want's to convince you they will change the world. Be weary of emergent technologies, there are many unknowns with many of these devices, we know from personal experience, and often their are several significant drawbacks such as maintenance, cleaning, and routine recalibration. Always get a few opinions, especially from those who are not already ambassadors of the technology.

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