Spring Valley Estates subdivision was developed in the late 1960s from an 80 acre tract of farm land. The lake itself is approximately 10 acres and is fed by four natural springs. Over the years, runoff from adjacent farm lands and lawns have caused increasing problems with organic muck accumulation (up to 3.5 feet in some parts), weed proliferation, and algae blooms. The problems started to increase in 2003 and by 2013 algae blooms were so severe that it was difficult to fish, swim, or even operate trolling motors. There was a foul odor to the water, and the fish had a notable slime and an unhealthy appearance. There was also fear that the increasing muck would eventually clog the springs naturally feeding the lake.
It became evident that inaction would result in fish kills and a dead lake within a few short years. In 2010, members of the Spring Valley Home Owners Board began to explore options for restoring the lake. Having a portion of the lake dredged for an estimated cost of $44,000-$88,000 was not a long term solution because only one third of the lake was even reachable by this method. There was also risk with this method of puncturing a hole in the bottom of the lake. Another option was to completely drain the lake and re-dig which would have been a prohibitively costly three to four year process with very negative environmental impacts. Because of the shortcomings of conventional dredging, the board searched for other affordable and viable options, and soon discovered Clean-Flo. After working with Clean-Flo to develop a program consisting of a laminar flow inversion-oxygenation system and bioaugmentation program, the Board provided the following feedback:
"Because of a lack of knowledge and expertise in lake maintenance and restoration we were skeptical that Clean-Flo’s system would even work. It took 3 years and a lot more reading and research for the board to realize we HAD to do something, so we put our faith in the hands of Clean-Flo. It was a great decision."
Under the direction of Clean-Flo’s team, we installed the aeration system in September 2013 and added our first round of biologicals. By the spring of 2014 we could once again at least run a trolling motor without it being bogged down by moss [filamentous algae]. By February 2015 we have recorded a reduction in the muck level of approximately 7 – 18 inches, and for the first time in many years the fishing is incredible. Our bass, blue gill, crappie, and catfish populations have increased. What’s more they are bigger, they are clean, they are healthy looking and they are not slimy.
Clean-Flo’s staffs have been terrific to work with. They have been very good in helping to figure out not only what products we need but also keeping us within our budget. They have made sure that we have detailed instruction on how and when to apply their biological products. Even though they are several states away, we have been able to easily reach them by phone if we have questions or by e-mail to send them pictures or videos so that they can help us figure out what to do next. We have been very happy with their customer service and especially with our results.
Thank you Clean-Flo from all of us here at Spring Valley Estates, for all of your expertise and assistance. Our leap of faith has paid off. We look forward to continuing to work with you in helping to keep our lake healthy.
P.S., if fish could talk, they would be thanking you also for improving their habitat."
The full content of the letter from the Board is shown below.