Aerating Backyard Ponds

Nothing is ever as easy as it looks and maintaining a private pond or small lake is a responsibility that requires some effort to keep it clean and safe for the wildlife that relies on it. One of the most important tasks is maintaining oxygen levels and reducing any algae overgrowth. This is accomplished with the help of aeration systems. These systems introduce oxygen into the water and the agitation the bubbles create break up any surface algae.

Why is it necessary?

Stream fed ponds and lakes have fresh water and a small amount of turbulence from this water flow. Most man-made water features do not have the benefit of a continuous fresh supply of water. Still ponds are only able to exchange gasses at the surface. The oxygen from the air will not reach the bottom and the bacteria breaking down the organic material at the bottom will release hydrogen sulfide because it is only anaerobic bacteria that is able to survive in the oxygen deprived environment. The bottom of the pond becomes septic and very few fish will survive in the oxygen-deficient water.

How do aerators help?

Using lake and pond aeration systmes the water at the bottom is circulated to the top where gasses are released naturally into the environment. The oxygen-rich water at the surface is pushed to the bottom. This allows beneficial bacteria to thrive and clean the pond bottom. The level of oxygen in the entire pond increases and makes the water more hospitable to a larger population and a more diverse group of creatures.

How are they powered?

A big concern for landowners is the lack of a convenient power source. Many backyard ponds can operate with a power cord when they are near structures with electricity. Those that are a little more remote, or homeowners concerned about the appearance of the cord or it becoming a tripping hazard, do have an option. Wind-powered systems exist and the addition of a small windmill is a visually appealing feature.

Aeration systems are a necessity for any man-made pond or lake. It is the best solution for maintaining a health ecosystem and helping it to look its best. It is not a guarantee for an algae-free surface but it will make achieving this much easier.