In recent years golden and blue-green algae has become a growing problem in Southern California, threatening pets, 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 harmful algae throughout the water column.
The challenge is to create an aquatic ecology that is detrimental to the golden or blue-green algae while maintaining a robust, healthy biology.
The solution begins with the creation and deployment of 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.
East Lake Case Study:
In the summer of 2016, we were contacted by Jeff Leinen regarding the golden algae bloom at East Lake in Yorba Linda, California. In 2013 there had been a golden algae bloom resulting in total fish die off. Subsequently, attempts had been made to manage the golden algae using copper sulfate, which resulted in poor fish health.
After our assessment of the East Lake and our conversations with Jeff Leinen, Eco Lake Solutions proposed a pilot project 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.
Since the deployment of the Eco Lake ecological design approach, East Lake has yet to have a recurrence of golden algae. The fish populations are thriving, water odor has been eliminated, and the lake is clearer than it has ever been.
Jeff provided us the following feedback:
“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
Yorba Linda, California
We're happy to discuss the challenges local bodies of water in your community face!