Organic Sediment and Muck Reduction in Lake Harmony

11 Apr

Case Study Showing Organic Sediment and Muck Reduction Over 4 Months – Lake Harmony, PA

The following case study shows dramatic muck reduction and organic sediment removal from Lake Harmony in Pennsylvania after only 4 months of the CLEAN-FLO system.

The Muck Reduction Challenge

Lake Harmony is a small lake located in the Pocono Mountains in a quaint Pennsylvania town sharing the same name. In September 2017, a sonar scan of Lake Harmony was completed to evaluate the overall health and condition of the lake. The testing generated a contour map, which illustrates the average depth of the lake across its entire area, as well as a map of the bottom composition, detailing whether the bottom contents of the lake are hard or soft. Softer bottom contents suggest a higher organic composition than hard bottom contents.

Analysis of the Lake Muck problem in Lake Harmony

The 2017 sonar scan revealed that at its deepest, Lake Harmony’s reached 14.14 feet in a very small area at the very center of the lake. Furthermore, the eastern portion of the lake reached approximately 10 feet in a relatively small area, while the northern area of the lake reached only 6 feet. Additionally, the scan demonstrated that the bottom composition was typically softer in deeper areas of the lake. In fact, the scan showed that This chart indicates 11% of the lake had a soft bottom, while 69% of the lake had a medium bottom and 20% had a hard bottom. Taken together, these two points suggest that Lake Harmony had a significantly high level of muck and sediment, particularly in the deeper areas of the lake.

What causes Muck and Organic Sediment Build Up?

Muck and sediment stem from decaying organic material, such as leaves, algae or animal waste, which has made its way into the body of water. As these materials continue to break down, the decomposition process continually draws oxygen from the water. Lower oxygen levels in a body of water creates an environment in which anaerobic bacteria thrive. These bacteria produce hydrogen sulfide, a smelly gas that is toxic to plant and animal life. Anaerobic bacteria can also produce methane and ammonia, which are also detrimental to plants and animals.

In short, Lake Harmony was undergoing this detrimental process. Over time, organic material had gathered and decayed on the lake bottom. Not only was this causing a decrease in Lake Harmony’s overall oxygen levels, but it also was contributing to a rise in toxic gases, unsightly muck and pungent odors. Clearly, something needed to be done to help clear out the muck and sediment at the bottom of Lake Harmony in order to improve the condition of this body of water.

The Muck Reduction Solution

Approximately nine months after the 2017 sonar scan was performed in Lake Harmony, Clean-Flo’s inversion and oxygenation system was installed in the lake and began operating full-time in June 2018. The system works to help introduce dissolved oxygen back into the water system, which ultimately helps restore the lake’s oxygen levels to healthier benchmarks. Increased oxygen levels generated by Clean-Flo’s system help create a balanced environment that is more favorable to a variety of lifeforms including aerobic bacteria, which efficiently breaks down organic materials and counteracts muck and sediment buildup.

The Results – Successful Muck Reduction in Lake Harmony

Just months after Clean-Flo’s aeration system was installed in Lake Harmony, a second sonar scan was completed in October 2018. Between the 2017 scan and the 2018 scan, there were noticeable changes in Lake Harmony’s characteristics that suggested that Clean-Flo’s aeration system had had a beneficial impact on the lake.

The contour map produced by the 2018 scan showed that the deepest point of Lake Harmony had increased to 14.97 feet. Additionally, area of the lake that reached at least 14 feet had increased significantly, stretching approximately 15 feet across the center of the Lake. The eastern and northern sections of the lake also increased in overall depth. More specifically, the deepest portion of the eastern section now reaches 11 feet, and while the deepest area of the northern section remains at 6 feet, that area has increased significantly since the 2017 test.

There were also notable changes to Lake Harmony’s bottom composition. The amount of soft bottom had decreased from 11% in 2017 to 7% in 2018. Similarly, the amount of medium bottom decreased from 69% to 66%. Finally, there was a significant growth in Lake Harmony’s overall hard bottom, which increased from 20% to 27%. Finally, the 2018 sonar test demonstrated that in addition to the changes to the lake’s bottom composition, there was also a change to its overall volume. In 2017, the sonar test revealed that Lake Harmony’s overall volume was 910.22 acre-feet, but in 2018, that value had increased to 940.12 acre-feet. These changes taken in tandem suggest that more aerobic bacteria are present in Lake Harmony’s water, which are more effectively decomposing the organic sediment and countering the lake’s muck buildup.

While Clean-Flo’s aeration system has only been operational for a few months, we anticipate that Lake Harmony will continue to see improvements organic sediment and muck reduction as well as in its overall health and consider the installation to be a success.