EP Aeration

The role of aeration in water features

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Courtesy of EP Aeration

In warm weather, the surface of your lovely water feature sucdenly develops a green, slimy mass which looks as if it may begin to pulsate, eave the water, and threaten the surrounding countryside, like the monstrous entity in some early Steve McQueen B movie Your instinct may be to use extreme measures - the chemical equivalent of calling in the National Guard for a tactical nuclear strike.

Instead, what's really needed is something more environmentally friendly and less radical - air. To be more precise, oxygen, delivered through an effective aeration system, is the weapon of choice. Like the defeat of the Martians by the common cold in War of the Worlcs, it is usually the simplest solution which works best.

Algae are ever-present in natural water features. The organism can survive frozen in Arctic wastes, and thrives in the hottest climates. Killing the existing algae bloom is a short-term measure, and actually contributes to future blooms by depositing nutrients (organic matter) in the sludge layer.

It is necessary to understand and treat the causes of massive algae blooms - the disease itself - rather than treating the symptoms. These causes are imbalances in both dissolved oxygen levels and temperature between the surface layer and the bottom layer of a water feature, and thermal stratification.

Therefore, the role of an aeration system is to bring into balance the dissolved oxygen (DO) levels and temperatures, throughout the water column. An effective aeration system must move water from the bottom layers to the surface. Although a certain amount of oxygen transfer can take place through the injection of air into the water column, the greatest amount of oxygenation takes place at the surface, through wind and wave action.

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