Chemical Free, Ecological, Economical Solutions
In recent years golden algae has become a growing problem causing fish kills and aquatic health issues in the fall and winter. Chemical management through the use of copper sulfate is limited in how effective it can be even in the short term. In the long term the copper sulfate is toxic to many of the beneficial aquatic algae, bacteria and protozoa that can potentially compete with the golden algae throughout the water column. The challenge is to create an aquatic ecology that is detrimental to the golden algae while maintaining a robust biology.
The solution begins with Floating Islands. Floating Islands will provide the matrix for beneficial plant root ecology. In this aerobic zone, the water body passes through the roots of the plants and the associated helpful bacteria. Observations have been made that during golden algae blooms fish move towards highly aerobic areas, where these floating islands would provide a safe haven for them. High efficiency aeration is the second component, and will create “hydraulic flushing manipulation.” This strategy has been proven successful in studies at Texas A&M Department of Wildlife and Fishery Science and Oceanography
In the summer of 2016, we were contacted by Jeff Leinen regarding the golden algae bloom at East Lake. In 2013 there had been a golden algae bloom resulting in total fish die off. Subsequently the golden algae had been managed using copper sulfate resulting in poor fish health. Based on our visit to East Lake and our conversations with Jeff Leinen, Eco Lake Solutions proposed a pilot project which was to establish a low impact approach to managing the golden algae blooms, and maintain a highly aesthetic, chemical free waterscape with a biodiversity of healthy aquatica. The purpose of the pilot was to demonstrate the effectiveness of a suite of ecological strategies for East Lake.
After two seasons the lake has yet to have a recurrence of golden algae. The fish populations are thriving, water order has been eliminated, and the lake is clearer then it has ever been.
“Eco Lake Solutions and Floating Islands West have transformed our lake. What was budgeted to be a pilot, proved to keep the entire lake clear of any ill effects from the Golden Algae. The water quality, clarity, and overall health of the lake are better than in my memory going back to childhood. We have original homeowners on our lake that have lived here for over thirty years coming in to tell us how wonderful the water looks and that it has never looked anywhere near this nice. Using ecological design strategies, Eco Lake Solutions and Floating Islands West have transformed this lake without the use of any chemicals. We have not treated our lake with any form of chemical in almost two years."
Jeff Leinen, Operations Manger
East Lake Village Community Association
Before and After images of East Lake project