Why is Aeration Important?
Aeration systems can be an integral part of a lake management program. Aeration can help provide a healthier environment for wildlife, significantly improve the aesthetics of your lakes, and slow down the aging of your lakes.
Although it may seem that aeration is designed to add air and oxygen to the water, it's main function is circulation of the water. Higher oxygen levels are achieved by creating this movement of water within a lake. In general, the higher the level of dissolved oxygen that is present in a lake, the healthier the entire ecological system of the lake. Without the introduction of an aeration system, a lake is dependent upon natural phenomena for the presence of dissolved oxygen. Dissolved oxygen will be impacted by various factors, including wind, temperature, atmospheric pressure, wave action, sunlight, the rate of photosynthesis by the vegetation in the lake, and the rate of respiration by plants, fish, animals, algae and bacteria that live in the lake. Some of these factors are constant, others are always varying. When plants receive sunlight and they are photosynthesizing, they produce oxygen. At night, or when it is overcast, they actually consume oxygen. Usually plants and algae produce more oxygen then they consume, but when there are a few overcast days in a row, so much oxygen can be consumed that levels can drop to critical levels and a fish kill can occur. Aeration will keep the dissolved oxygen levels more constant and therefore prevent these types of fish kills.
These dynamic systems can also become more complex in deeper lakes that may stratify into two different masses of water. The top section or surface water, because of its contact with the atmosphere has the ability to absorb oxygen. The bottom section, which is colder and stays below the warmer surface water, can become devoid of oxygen , or anaerobic. When this happens the bottom half of the lake can become a dead zone and all of the living creatures that can move to the upper portion of the water column. With only half of the lake containing oxygen, and all of the animals living in that section in denser aggregations, the oxygen of the surface water gets depleted too. The worst case scenario, which can occur from high wind events or the first cold fronts of fall is that the lake can "flip" because the thermocline that separates bottom water from the surface water breaks down because of water movement, or water temperatures becoming closer together. The mixing of the bottom anaerobic water and the surface water can cause an overall lowering of dissolved oxygen and a fish kill.
Aeration constantly moves bottom water to the surface, so it can contact the atmosphere and absorb oxygen. This movement of water provides mixing, and if done adequately, will prevent the formation of a thermocline and prevent the lake from stratifying.
Healthy dissolved oxygen levels at the bottom of the lake are also important to allow the organisms that live at the bottom to prosper. This includes bacteria and enzymes that help break down organics and attack muck. The formation of muck in the bottom of a lake is inevitable. Anything that washes in or grows in a lake eventually breaks down and contributes to the formation of muck, and a build up of nutrients. Minimizing the build up of nutrients is key to stopping excessive submersed weed and algae growth. This benefits the lake owner because fewer algaecides and herbicides are needed to control these problems, and that helps make lake management more environmentally friendly. Lakes with lower nutrient levels also have clearer water. If we can limit the necessity of algaecide and herbicide use, everyone, including the environment benefits. The build up of thick layers of muck on the lake bottom contribute to the aging and diminishing health of a lake over time. The addition of aeration can slow down the aging of a lake by tying up nutrients and diminishing the formation of muck.
We proudly offer the full line of aeration systems and supplies provided by Pentair Aquatic Eco Systems, Inc. We feel the quality, value and design of their systems are second to none. We have represented other manufacturers’ system in the past, but found the rubber membrane diffusers they promoted to be unreliable and likely to fail. In addition, since distributing oxygen rich water to all portions of a lake is the real goal, their superior methods for accomplishing this goal are unsurpassed in the industry. Our experience installing and maintaining these systems, backed by the expertise of Pentair Aquatic Eco Systems, Inc., makes Lake Masters uniquely qualified to provide aeration for your lakes. When it comes to aeration, Your Choice is Clear!