How Do I Choose a Pond Aeration System?
Many of my discussions with customers often start with the pond or lake owner telling us that their pond is “X” feet deep, spring fed and “Y” acres. My followup question is “what are the dimensions?” Hence, this is how we start the conversation of whether or not they need pond aeration.
Aeration Benefits all Ponds and Lakes
All ponds will benefit from aeration, this is a fact. There are a few variables that will determine what type of pond aeration will give you the best results in your situation and value for your money. Many factors determine how oxygen saturated your water is. Some variable factors that effect oxygen level are vegetation density, wind, sunlight and rain. As experts, we can use an oxygen meter to determine oxygen saturation at a given point at a given time.
Do I need Pond Aeration?
Pond constants, like diameter and depth, can be used to determine potential aeration issues. Using some simple math, you can determine if your pond may need aeration. Take half your shortest diameter and divide it by the depth at that point. If your answer is greater than 3 you may need aeration. For example, a 100-foot diameter pond 12 feet deep would work like this: 50/12=4.2. This calculation is based on a hydrodynamic property of water and its ability to circulate.
What Does the Calculation Mean?
This means that the bottom couple of feet in that area could be “dead” water. “Dead” water is water that cannot effectively support life. Small pockets of “dead” water are normal. When the percentage of dead water gets too large, your pond becomes less productive and possibly could have a low oxygen situation. Pond aeration effectively limits the percentage of dead water
- Pond Size
The surface area of a pond is often measured in acres or square feet where 1 acre is equal to 43,560 square feet. The surface area will give users an idea of how powerful a unit will be effective. Similar to the way an HVAC technician will use the square footage of your home to determine the size heating or cooling unit you require.
- Pond Depth
Depth of your lake or pond determines the method in which the air is compressed or if a surface aerator is appropriate. Surface aerators are great for ponds having a depth less than 16 feet. Diaphragm aerators work well for depths of 6 feet or less and require simple routine diaphragm replacement. Rocking piston aerators can work in depths greater than 30 feet and are extremely durable. A vane compressor is great for situations where the depth is between 6 and 18 feet and when multiple aeration sites are needed.
- Pond Shape
The shape of a pond also factors into the equation when purchasing an aerator. A 1 acre round pond may require a 1 horsepower surface aerator while a 1-acre horseshoe-shaped pond may benefit best from a 1/3 horsepower vane compressor with 2 or 3 diffusers.
Aeration units generally fall into 3 power categories: Standard electric, Wind power, and Solar power. Generally, if you have the ability to have a standard electric unit, that is the most efficient and effective. Solar and Wind aerators cost more to buy but are practically free to run.