Saturday, March 28, 2009

Your Lakes Dynamics: Aeration

Have you ever been swimming in a lake or pond in the summertime?The top 5 feet or so of water is nice and warm, but if you stretch your feet down your toes hit water that feels freezing cold? The difference in water temperatures is caused by what is called stratification and the transition zone is the thermocline. Above the thermocline is oxygen rich warm surface water, and below the thermocline is cold water typically low in oxygen.

During the summer months, when water is warm, oxygen can be consumed faster than it can be replenished. Lakes can become "stratified"; the warmer, oxygen-rich upper water laying on top of the cool, more dense, lower-oxygen deeper water.

Such conditions inhibit levels of beneficial bacteria and their breakdown of organics. Bottom muck accumulation increases and excessive nutrients are readily available for plant/algae growth. This thermal stratification also makes conditions favorable for the production of noxious ammonia and hydrogen sulfide gases.

Vertex bottom aeration systems create a vertical current using the rising force of millions of small bubbles to entrain the water column, "turning the lake over" and allowing oxygen to be absorbed at the lake's surface.

By moving the lower-oxygen water up from the bottom and eliminating thermal stratification, oxygen levels throughout the water column are increased. Wide swings in oxygen are stabilized, preventing fish kills. Vertex Aeration systems also improve sport fisheries by allowing fish to expand their territory into formerly oxygen-deprived portions of the lake.
We use Vertex Aeration Systems to completely eliminate the thermocline in lakes and ponds. My goal when designing an aeration system is to completely turn over the entire volume of water in your lake every day! That is one of the biggest keys to clean, healthy and very successfully managed lakes and ponds!

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