Remediation of Surface Water
For 26 years, the Little River Pond Mill® circulators
having been assisting
in the improvement of surface waters including dugouts, lakes
Eutrophic lakes and other surface waters suffer from high
nutrient and carbon loading, high primary productivity, and in many cases oxygen deprivation,
the growth or excessive growth of undesirable/harmful organisms,
and other undesirable characteristics.
The Little River Pond Mill® circulator floats on the surface of
the water and becomes an effective ecosystem management tool
that addresses many issues of proper surface water
management which include the
reduction or elimination of odours, BOD (biological oxygen demand or biochemical
oxygen demand), COD (chemical oxygen demand), TSS (total suspended solids or
suspended solids), pollutants, algal and milfoil blooms, and the increase of DO
(dissolved oxygen), organism diversity and competition, etc.
The circulator action encourages the organisms, producers
and consumers, in the aquatic environment (lake, pond, sewage lagoon) to
increase their overall productivity (biostimulation). The introduction of oxygen, at the
atmosphere (air)-water interface, in conjunction with the powerful circulation,
provides an environment that enhances or improves the natural diversity in the
aquatic system by upscaling the rate and the efficiency of the naturally
occurring biogeochemical cycle (the rate and the efficiency at which energy,
nutrients, oxygen, etc. are cycled).
With the addition of the Little River Pond Mill® circulator,
the ecosystem is now more balanced meaning that the
organisms within the aquatic environment are now synchronized with the
nutrients, oxygen, energy and circulation available to them and 'excesses', i.e.
algae bloom, odours, etc., should no longer pose a problem.
Prior to the introduction of circulation and surface
re-aeration, using the Little River Pond Mill® circulator,
nutrient rich organic matter settled to the bottom where anaerobic decomposition
took over. Anaerobic decomposition produces potentially toxic and foul-smelling
gases - both undesirable and potentially lethal to people, other organisms, and
to our atmosphere. Some of the byproducts of anaerobic decomposition also
prevent or deter the growth of the more sensitive, yet desirable, fish,
mammal, and other animal (vertebrate and non-vertebrate) species.
The circulation and aeration component introduced not only
allows more organisms to survive in the same amount of space, and promotes the
creation of crucial biofloc and biofilm microbial communities, but it also
promotes an increase in both species diversity and population density.
This ecosystem enhancement reduces the negative components typically observed in
stagnant aquatic ecosystems.
Some of the observed benefits include a
- noxious odours and potentially harmful gases
(including greenhouse and acid rain gases)
- biological (BOD) and chemical (COD) oxygen
- suspended solids
- pest/undesirable/harmful weed and organism
species (Eurasian Watermilfoil, mosquito larvae, e.coli)
- pollutants (hydrocarbons)
Various factors are working together to create the
improved ecosystem effects. These factors include the presence of
circulation, competition for food, predation, the presence of oxygen,
elimination of a desired habitat, tying up of a required nutrient element(s),
exposure to sunlight (UV rays), and other factors (known/unknown).
The Little River Pond Mill® circulator is
an effective ecosystem enhancement tool that can be used to 'tailor-make' solutions in
Whether your desire is to enhance or maintain fish populations in a lake,
increase the survival rate and health of shrimp in a pond, or clean up a polluted aquatic
environment, the Little River Pond Mill® circulator
is an effective tool in aquatic environment management.
Preventative Action Measures
and Cyanobacteria blooms
Excessive growth of algae and cyanobacteria can form floating clumps or scum on surface
waters and seriously deteriorate the appearance of shorelines and water
quality. The excessive growth can resemble a thick pea soup,
be potentially harmful to people and animals, and emit a
Algae and cyanobacteria blooms are
typically a sign of nutrient rich waters. The
nutrients enter the water through municipal sewage/gray water,
animal and poultry sewage, fertilizer, erosional deposition of
nutrient and organic matter rich soil,
and many other avenues. Low wind conditions, combined with
optimal sunshine and nutrient rich waters, are key requirements for
algae and cyanobacteria blooms.
Algae and cyanobacteria blooms can decrease water quality via:
- Murky, foul smelling water which limits its use for drinking and
- Low oxygen levels resulting from decomposition of dead algae,cyanobacteria,
plants and animals. Low oxygen levels can promote both summer and
winter fish kills;
- Cyanobacteria (blue-green algae),
which is actually not algae, have
some species which are potentially toxic to mammals. The toxins produced
by the cyanobacteria are known to kill livestock and pets, and
illness in humans. Children should not be permitted to swim in
cyanobacteria infected waters as a preventative measure.
Control of cyanobacteria and aquatic plants with copper sulfate
(bluestone) is not advised since, if the cyanobacteria species is
one that produces the harmful toxin, the toxin will still be
released upon its death and will still pose a health hazard.
The copper sulfate is also toxic to other desired aquatic species
including fish. The death of these other species can result in
a disruption of the sensitive biotic balance in any aquatic
- Water treatment costs increase due to plugging of filters and the
potential need to increase chemical use
prior to human consumption.
The Little River Pond Mill® circulator has been shown to decrease algae
and cyanobacteria blooms on
surface waters. The circulator facilitates an
increase in species diversity, reverses the effects of
eutrophication, increases competition for
food, and decreases
nutrient bioavailability - all are key components in the
reduction/elimination of algae and cyanobacteria
Control of Eurasian
Eurasian watermilfoil is a non-native (to North
America) aquatic plant species which was
apparently introduced to North America in the late 1800's. By the mid
1980's, this pest plant could be found in 33 states in the United States
and in at least 3 Canadian provinces. Recreational activities, i.e.
boating, appear to facilitate the spread of this plant. Since it is an
introduced species it has no natural population controls, i.e. insects,
bacteria, and fungi. This pest species has been shown to be very
competitive with native aquatic species and in many cases is able to
choke out or reduce native species diversity. This may also be an
interaction of eutrophic conditions. Eurasian watermilfoil is not
considered palatable by native aquatic and terrestrial grazers and therefore
grows to the extent of the limiting nutrient, i.e.
The Little River Pond Mill® circulator has been effective in controlling Eurasian
watermilfoil growth. In a study conducted on a 35 ha lake - Quebec,
Canada - 1997, the pond mills reduced the required harvesting of the
milfoil by up to 500% and have since eradicated the
requirement for harvesting. The signs of eutrophication which had plagued
this lake in the past had also been alleviated (D. Boudrias, 1997). The
control measures which have been implemented through use of the Little River Pond Mill® circulator
for control of the Eurasian watermilfoil include:
- Increased competition for nutrients;
- Increased aquatic
- Chemical changes in nutrients thereby decreasing nutrient
- Circulation and decreased water temperatures during winter months
forcing the plant into a dormancy state of which it has no means of
surviving through since it has no ability to store carbohydrates
(no storage organs).
Prevention / Reduction
Preventing or reducing point and non-point source pollutants from
entering the water is a measure which is key to remediation of the
water, or in preventing the water from entering a eutrophic state. Point
source pollutants are those which can be readily identified, i.e. a
community emptying effluent into a river or lake, or a business emptying
polluted cooling water into a reservoir,... Non-point source pollutants are those
whose source is more difficult to identify conclusively, or at all.
Examples of these could be:
- a livestock facility whose manure storage facility is leaking
into an underground spring which has an outlet running into a lake
25 km downstream and for which the underground
spring flows beneath 3 municipal sewage lagoons, and 5 livestock
- runoff from a drainage basin which may contain a chemical recycling
plant, 3 livestock facilities, 1 small town, and 11 farms (mixed or
otherwise). Although certain nutrients and chemicals in the water may be
identified, there is no conclusive evidence to state exactly where the
pollutants originated from; and
- drainage from a community storm drain entering a lake or reservoir.
You know that the drainage water comes from a certain community but you
cannot conclusively determine the origin of any one pollutant.
Some preventative measures which can be taken to decrease the organic
and nutrient load on surface waters:
- Insure there is a substantial grass buffer strip surrounding the
surface water (dugout, lake, pond,...) This buffer strip should be sized
in proportion to the surrounding drainage basin and the size of the
water holding facility. The PRFA in Canada recommends between 5 and 50
meters. The larger the drainage basin and the steeper the surrounding
land slopes, the larger the buffer strip should be to prevent erosional
deposition of soil, organic matter, and nutrients
from draining into the surface
water. The grass buffer strip should be mowed to about 8 cm (3 inches)
for optimal performance, and the clippings should be removed and
composted elsewhere. Trees should be kept back at least 50 meters to
deter leaves from entering the water supply;
- Insure drainage from livestock facilities does not drain directly
into surface waters. This may involve changes in pasture management,
liquid manure and/or lagoon management, and location of facility;
- Control of all domestic sewage and gray water disposal by using
regulation septic tanks rather than dumping directly into lakes, rivers,
or ponds, and insure that septic tanks are not leaking. Insure domestic
sewage and gray water has been remediated prior to dumping into a
surface water such that nutrients, BOD, SS, ... are below present
acceptable limits, and DO is above present acceptable limits, e.g. 5
- Initiate recycling programs and dangerous goods drop-off locations to
insure used pesticide container contents, thinners, lubricants,..., do
not end up in the sewer or storm drain and possibly polluting surface
- Limit use of copper sulfate (bluestone) and other harmful chemicals.
They disrupt natural cycling processes and eliminate natural indicators
which can assist in determining where a potential problem exists. The
use of chemicals to eliminate algae growth can end up decreasing or
eliminating important plant and algae grazers such as snails, insect
larvae, fresh-water shrimp, daphnia, and some species of fish.
- Do not surface apply fertilizers and manure on land adjacent to
surface waters and especially not just prior to a rain event. Insure all fertilizers
and manures have been tilled in, or injected, to reduce erosional
These are a few measures which can be taken to decrease the organic and
nutrient load on surface waters thereby reducing the problems associated
with eutrophication, i.e. nuisance aquatic plant blooms. Many community
and environmental organizations can assist you further.
We're all part of the ecosystem Earth community - when one pollutes, it
affects us all.
Surface Water Management Conclusions
The circulation action, combined with the passive and active aeration
and UV exposure,
promoted by the Little River Pond Mill® circulator,
helps to create a healthier aquatic
environment. This effective aquatic ecosystem
management tool is both efficient and
economical in reducing the effects of pollution in a world
where waste and mismanagement have unfortunately become acceptable practice.
The benefits of the biogeochemical cycling process
promoted by the Little River Pond Mill® circulator
can be seen in such parameters as:
- Reduction of odours and toxic respiration byproducts by moving away
from the anaerobic processes which produce those substances. By
reducing or eliminating toxic gases, reductions in mid or late winter
fish kills are possible, as well as observed increases in vertebrate,
non-vertebrate, and microbial diversity. Recreational use of lakes
also becomes more pleasant.
- Reduction in factors such as BOD, TSS, phenols, VFA's; and
increases in dissolved oxygen, organism population,
and species diversity of the water can
improve both the image and the functionality of the body of water.
- Reduction in the growth of pest/harmful/toxic aquatic species through
increased competition and predation, and
by reducing ideal habitat
parameters, i.e. calm water, low oxygen, high bioavailable nutrients,
and low/no competition for bioavailable nutrients
and energy sources.
The environmentally friendly remediation of surface waters
(aquatic ecosystems) through
use of the Little River Pond Mill® circulator, a biogeochemical cycle
remediation facilitator and
effective aquatic ecosystem enhancement and management tool, provides
many benefits. It provides environmental, economic, and social benefits to the environment, the commercial
animal producer, recreational water body users, and the surrounding community.
It can reduce environmental, economic, and social costs associated with surface
water management, and when combined with preventative measures (as mentioned
earlier), it can be an integral part of your surface water management program.