March 10, 2022

Marina and Dock Bubblers – The Key to Avoiding Winter Ice Damage to Docks

If you are a marina or dock owner, then you know that keeping your water circulating is key to preventing ice buildup and maintaining the health of your docks and boats. One of the best ways to do this is by using a dock bubbler or dock deicer, which agitates the water, prevents ice formation, and can improve oxygen levels in the water.

Winter aeration can also be a terrific way to keep your marina healthy, particularly if you have fish populations living in it. By circulating the water and adding oxygen, you can help keep these populations thriving all winter long. This post explains everything about dock bubblers, dock deicers and winter aeration, and we also discuss other alternatives you may want to consider.

What is the purpose of dock bubblers?

Dock bubblers or dock deicers are used to circulate the water in marinas or around open water docks to prevent ice buildup. The bubblers help keep the water moving, which helps prevents ice from forming on the surface. This is important for the health of the marina, the docks and the boats that are in it. If the ice forms solid around a dock it could lead to warping of your dock, breaking and heaving of the dock structure, or mechanical and structural damage to docked boats.

Dock bubblers can help improve water quality. The agitation caused by the bubbler helps mix the water and prevents stagnation. This can be beneficial for fish populations, as well as for other aquatic organisms that live in the marina. Selecting the best bubblers, such as the models from Clean-Flo will also improve oxygen levels in the water and can be operated all year long for water quality improvement, reduced algae and weed growth and reduced muck on the bottom of the lake or marina. Open water areas and increased oxygen in the water will also prevent fish kills.

What are the effects of ice on a dock?

The effect of ice on a dock can be significant. If ice forms on or around a dock, it can cause the dock to sink or even break. In addition, if too much ice forms, it can block marinas and other water bodies from being accessible.

It is important to take steps to prevent ice from forming on or around your dock. One way to do this is by using a dock bubbler. A dock bubbler or deicer will help keep the water moving and prevent it from freezing over. Therefore, if you live in an area where ice is a frequent problem, it is important to have a dock bubbler in place to prevent damage.

Is winter aeration important?

Winter is a crucial time for marinas and other water bodies, as it is during this season that problems such as ice buildup and low oxygen levels can occur. Winter aeration can be a wonderful way to prevent these issues and keep your marina healthy. By circulating the water and adding oxygen, you can help keep fish populations thriving all winter long. Not all circulating systems are efficient in oxygenating the water, so it is important to select the best option. Clean-Flo systems are deployed not only for effective and efficient winter aeration and deicing, but also for year-round use to keep oxygen levels high, improve water quality, improve fish health, and reduce nuisance weeds and algae.

Clean-Flo’s aeration systems and deicing systems are being used not only in marinas, but also for use around individual waterfront docks on lakes, as well as for use to keep entire lakes from freezing. Open areas of water also serve as an escape path for bursts of toxic gases from the anoxic sediment below that would otherwise be trapped under the ice which can lead to fish kills.

Can winter aeration prevent damage?

Winter aeration can help marinas stay healthy during the winter, but it can also help prevent damage. If you have an aeration system in place, you can keep your marina from freezing over. This is important, as a frozen marina can be exceedingly difficult to thaw out and can cause extensive dock damage.

What are the types of winter aeration?

There are three main types of winter aeration, they are:

  • Diffused air systems
  • Subsurface dock mounted or dock supported circulators
  • Floating fountains (need diffused air system to prevent freezing)

Diffused air systems

These systems use bubbles to circulate the water and add oxygen to the water. Clean-Flo’s systems are considered diffused air systems. Each system is custom designed for the application, so we can scale for any size project from a small lakeside dock to an operating marina with many docks, to a lake or reservoir that could be hundreds to thousands of acres. Our systems are not a one size fits all but specified for your unique application and requirements.

Subsurface circulators

These systems are typically mounted or supported from the dock or marina and are used to provide constant circulation of the water. These systems can maintain open water around docks but are inefficient from a water oxygenation standpoint. This type of system is often used in smaller marinas or individual docks.

Floating fountains

Floating fountains can be used for winter aeration but the water around the fountain cannot get ice covered or it could damage the fountain. Clean-Flo does not recommend this application, but where the customer wants to keep a fountain running all winter, we can usually adjust our system to keep the water open around the fountain.

Can a floating dock remain in the water during winter?

Most floating docks can be left in the water during winter if they are properly protected from ice formation by a dock deicer. If you choose to leave your dock in the water, be sure to check on it regularly and make sure that the water remains open.

Do you need a dock protection system?

Clean-Flo has over 50 years of engineering experience in preventing dock damage. Whether you have a small lakeside dock, or an operating marina, feel free to contact us to discuss options. We will collaborate with you to provide exactly what you are looking for without just pulling something off the shelf. Whether you just want to run the system in the winter to prevent ice damage, or you want to run it year-round for all the other additional benefits, we can provide the widest and most cost-efficient options for your unique situation.

Improve your water body now!

The following bioaugmentation products are beneficial for all water bodies to reduce nutrients, improve water quality, reduce organic muck and stimulate beneficial diatom growth that will convert nutrients into healthy food for fish.  Best results are achieved with our aeration and oxygenation system.

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