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The Purpose Of Aeration

The Purpose of Aeration is one of the most widely used tools for maintaining aquatic systems: wastewater treatment, improvement of number and health in fisheries, mosquito control, ice management, reduction of nutrient loading, sediment management, water clarity, and algae control. Naturally, water has the ability to hold adequate quantities of dissolved oxygen (D.O.) and nutrients. However, temperature, sunlight, run-off, and stocking densities can have a detrimental effect on water’s ability to replenish itself.

In many cases, artificial aeration and flow generation can aide in replenishing the levels of dissolved molecules in water, but can also raise these levels higher than what is naturally available. Without assistance, low dissolved oxygen levels and poor water quality can mean lower yields, reduced growth rate, and increased susceptibility to fish and plant stress and disease.

For many, the general rule is to aerate from dusk to dawn. Even in fairly clear/clean water just prior to dawn is the most critical time of day as far as fish and plant mortality is concerned. Most oxygen at this time has been consumed throughout the night by the fish and plant population. The second reason for low oxygen below the surface is that light cannot penetrate with enough intensity to cause photosynthesis. This is true at night and also if there is too much debris in the water. This condition of stratification may be easily corrected by mechanical destratification, as with The Power House, Inc. aerators.

The aerator, in the process of moving water to the surface for aeration, also pulls water from lower depths, thereby destratisfying the pond and making more of the available water useful for aquatic productivity. With The Power House, Inc. aerators this process is constant and continuously destratifies the water. When there is a problem of low dissolved oxygen, it is not surprising to see the fish breaking the surface frequently - as though gasping for air. In this instance, immediate action needs to be taken, and emergency aeration is required in order to save a fish crop. In commercial aquaculture, artificial aeration is standard. Most facilities have on hand emergency electric power, in the event there is a power failure. In addition, many also make provisions to have a spare aerator or two as backup in case of mechanical failure.

Seasonal fish kills are another important reason to make sure aerators are present in your waters. Often, warm summers are visited by cold rains. When this happens, the cold water falling on the pond surface may cause a sudden destratification which can bring deep dead water to the surface, making it unsuitable for sustaining aquatic life. The result may be an expensive and sudden fish kill. Using our aerators can prevent sudden thermal shock by constantly destratifying the pond. Since cool water retains oxygen better than warm water, it follows that the ability to cool your pond would be an advantage. Surface aeration performs the multi-purposes of raising the D.O. level, lowers the temperature level and helps normalize conditions throughout the pond. In tests with surface aeration, the temperature of a body of water has been lowered as much as 10°F, depending upon relative humidity. However, if the water gets too cold it cannot retain enough oxygen.

Here at The Power House, Inc., we strive to make energy efficient equipment. We have been able to manufacture aerators with some of the highest oxygen transfer rates per horsepower/hr available on the market. Our units help maintain cleaner water, provide gentle circulation, and prevent thermal stratification. Additional benefits include the ability to use the units as flow generators and to prevent winter fish kills. These units are also used to keep wildlife and livestock ponds open during freezing weather. If deep well water is used as a source of water, it may be very cold. This typically means water will be devoid of oxygen and could retain gases as Nitrogen, Carbon Dioxide, or Hydrogen Sulfide. These toxic gases may be readily scrubbed out with surface aeration. Rain water could be expected to contain high levels of D.O., but have fallen on fields that may have been fertilized. It may actually be a poor source of D.O. because the fertilizer is a nutrient and will consume oxygen at a rapid rate. This would again be solved by use of our aerators.

We feel that vertical lift, floating surface aerators are the most practical and efficient method of aeration. By agitating the water’s surface, these units can expose high volumes of oxygen depleted water to fresh air and push it throughout a body of water. These aerators are electronically powered, and very popular in the United States as well as overseas. Our aerators are designed to withstand usage from commercial aquaculture, industrial applications, and wastewater treatment facilities. Surface water may be naturally saturated with D.O., but water only a few inches below the surface may be too low in oxygen to support aquatic life. Our aerators are designed to agitate high volumes of water at the surface to maximize exposure of water to the air. The closer to saturation water becomes, the slower oxygen can be added, but saturation is really not necessary. It is only necessary to aerate to the level required by the species being raised.

Surface turbulence is a great advantage and can be increased by surface aeration. It is important to consider the cost of the aeration in relation to the market price of the crop being raised. Over aerating is costly and wasteful. However, this is the very reason The Power House, Inc. aerators are the most energy efficient aerators on the market. When sized properly according to pond type and application, they are extremely cost effective. Roughly a ¼-hp is needed to aerate ¼ acre pond, but this can vary slightly depending on the depth and shape of your waterways.

Our distributors and dealers are happy to work with you to ensure you choose the aerator(s) you need for your application.