Lilypads

Austin Lake in Kent County, Michigan is a 15-acre lake that has been in the Claus family for almost a century. The family bought the property in 1929, and five generations of kids have grown up on the lake, enjoying fishing, swimming and boating.

“Over time it seemed like the lake was dying a slow death.” explained David Claus. “The water was murky, the fish were suffering, the weeds were invading towards the center of the lake from all around, and it just felt like the lake was eventually going to be covered over.”

“About a mile and a half down the road there’s another lake, that’s all filled with lilypads. Over my life I’ve seen it go from an open lake to one filled in with lilypads, and we didn’t want that to happen here.”

“Several years ago we put a bubbler aeration system in but it didn’t do much, so about five years ago we started talking to you guys. It took a couple of years to get all the necessary permits, and in 2017 we were ready to go”.

Austin Lake before Clean-Flo

Aerial view of Austin Lake before Clean-Flo

Beforehand, aquatic vegetation, which consisted of invasive weeds such as milfoil, and pond weed, and in particular an extensive and growing covering of lilypads around virtually the whole shoreline. 

The vegetation “heat map” shows the severity of the weed and lilypad invasion.
(Red is the highest density of aquatic vegetation, blue is clear of aquatic vegetation.)
Weed “heat map” 2017

Weed “heat map” 2017

The extent to which the invasive weeds and lilypads receded is vividly apparent in the “heat map” from 2019 below.
“Heat map” in 2019

“Heat map” in 2019

Aerial view of Austin Lake

Aerial view of Austin Lake showing the extent to which lilypads have receded since Clean-Flo implemented the remediation program.

“In the first full year, 2018 the water quality looked much better, but it was the following year, 2019 that was really amazing.” said David Claus.
“The lilypad root tubers are as thick as a man’s thigh and often over ten feet long and they were floating up all over!”. We called Clean-Flo and said “What’s happening?”.

“You explained that now the organic sediment was digested, there was nothing to hold the tubers so they were floating up. Over the next 18 months we had hundreds of those things floating up and it kept us pretty busy removing them from the lake”

“There are three particular RADOR oxygenation units that were positioned right at the edge of the lilypads in 2017. It’s been remarkable how much the lilypads have diminished. Those RADOR units have pushed the lilypads back 20 or 30 yards.”

Lilypads
RADOR aeration

The arrow shows the position of the RADOR aeration unit that was positioned right up against the lilypads in 2017.

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