An aeration system – which can include pond fountains, aerators, diffusers and more – is an easy, natural way to supply man-made and natural ponds with dissolved oxygen. Dissolved oxygen (DO) is a measure of how much oxygen is dissolved in the water – the amount of oxygen available to living aquatic organisms. The amount of dissolved oxygen in a stream or lake directly correlates with the water quality.
Aquatic animals, such as fish and aquatic invertebrates, require DO to breathe and function. In the case of low or fluctuating DO levels (which can occur alongside algae blooms, plant and algae die-offs or during the winter months), aquatic life can die in large quantities in an event known as a ‘Fish Kill’.
In addition to preserving the health of aquatic life, introducing dissolved oxygen via aeration has many benefits.
If you’re asking yourself if your pond needs an aerator or what aeration does for a pond, rest assured that there is a plethora of benefits, including:
An aeration system is a series of equipment components designed to introduce dissolved oxygen into a waterbody for its quality and health. There are two main types of aerators – diffused and surface.
A surface aerator propels water into the air where it then falls back into the water. This creates a circulation of oxygenated water as well as surface disruption – which has the additional benefit of deterring pest breeding and weed growth.
In contrast, with a diffused aeration system, you may see small bubbles on the water’s surface; however, most of the aeration is happening beneath the surface. Submerged pads connected to shore-mounted air compressors disperse fine bubbles to aerate the entire water column from the waterbody bottom up to the surface. Additionally, there are several key components that operate from the shoreline to make the system work including:
Each of these parts will need to be properly fitted for several attributes of your pond – its size, depth and shape. It’s important to make sure that the system only infuses enough DO to sustain life rather than overwhelm it, and that the aeration equipment can reach the entire water column if needed.
You will also use these characteristics to choose your type of aeration system, examples of which we’ll outline below.
There are several kinds of fountains and aeration methods that suit specific needs – such as targeting the bottom portion of the water column versus the upper portion – and operate under certain circumstances. We’ll explore these below, as well as a few new emerging technologies in the aeration sphere.
Floating fountains work by propelling water into the air to create a surface display. When it lands back on the surface, it creates turbulence that transfers oxygen into the water. Especially prominent in residential communities, floating fountains offer both aeration optimization and aesthetic appeal. They can also come in different water designs with LED lights and more. Not all fountains “aerate” a pond so it’s important to work with an authorized installer to design the best system for your waterbody.
These systems are fully submerged and work by pumping air from an on-shore compressor via a hose that lies along the water bottom. This means that they can supply DO to the entire waterbody column as long as the system is strong enough.
For hard-to-reach lakes surrounded by homes and stormwater management facilities, a solar-powered system can help avoid the costs of digging and setting up power services and ongoing electrical needs.
For locations with limited access to power, space and lots of windy days, windmill pond aerators provide an ideal option.
Between the varied types of fountain and aeration systems – as well as the depth of factors that must be considered when choosing and designing an aeration plan – it can be hard to DIY aeration for a pond or small lake.
Luckily, Clarke’s team of experts brings years of expertise to designing and implementing fountain and aeration solutions for a variety of communities and waterbodies. To learn more, contact our team here, or check out other articles such as:
How did our aquatics team get this background pond wedding-party-ready within a tight two-week deadline? Read on to find out.
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