Lake St. Catherine aeriation trial now in operation

T he long-awaited aeration project being conducted by the Lake St. Catherine Conservation Fund is now at work in full force. On July 31, in a noontime ribbon-cutting ceremony, directors of the LSCCF, their wives and children, state Rep. John Malcolm and Wells Selectman Rich Strange gathered at lakeside to celebrate turning on the system, introducing aeration to a Vermont lake for the first time ever.

The project involves the use of nine submerged air diffusers over an area of about 15 acres (just under 10 percent) of Little Lake.  Air is pumped through the diffusers into the lake to provide oxygen to enable natural microbes — currently oxygen-deprived — to conduct their activity in decomposing the sediment.  As a side benefit, it provides a healthy, oxygen-rich environment for fish.

After studying the aeration process extensively and visiting lakes where it has been shown to be successful in reducing nuisance vegetation and sediment, the LSCCF planned the project and applied early in 2011 to the state Department of Environmental Conservation for a permit.  The original plan was to treat a large portion of the lake. Rep. Malcolm provided support in the acquisition of state permission, and in the spring of 2012 the LSCCF project gained approval by the state.  The resulting permit restricted the treatment area to only a small part of the lake as a precaution.  Because the procedure has never been used in any Vermont lake, DEC was cautious to make sure there were no adverse effects.

The project cost over $40,000, and the source of the funding was the LSCCF membership and a $12,000 grant from the Town of Wells.   LSCCF is hopeful that with positive results, the treatment area can be expanded to   other parts of the lake. In fact, the LSCCF hopes that this will provide a model for lakes all across the state that are also undergoing  sediment buildup, shallowing waters and rapidly expanding  nuisance vegetation.

The aeration equipment consists of an electric compressor which pumps air through weighted hoses to square ceramic diffusers.  The compressor emits a quiet hum, and a crown of bubbles appears above the location of each diffuser.  The system does not disturb any kind of recreational use on the lake, and boats are able to pass over the area without harm to the system or to the boats.

Comments

comments

Read more in this week's Sentinel in newsstands now or click here to read right now with our e-edition.

Tags: , , , , ,

Weekender – 09/04/15

North Country Freepress – 09/04/15

Northshire Freepress – 09/04/15

Lakes Region Freepress – 09/04/15

Classifieds 09/02/15

Charges linger for 10 months, Man in limbo after arresting cop quits

Morrill resignation

By Christina Scanlon When former Granville Police Officer Marc D. Morrill resigned abruptly in April, several cases were still to […]

Trump, Cruz, Carson, Sanders top Washington County straw poll

Straw Poll

By Dan King The Washington County Fair met politics last week, as 737 people came out to vote in a […]

Naval Militia volunteers receive award

Naval Militia

By Dan King A group of seven area maritime veterans, including two from Whitehall and one from Granville, will be […]

Friendships formed at fair live on

1

By Christina Scanlon Shortly after the gates opened at the Washington County Fair Friday morning, tractors were moving and stirring […]

First Friday this Friday

This month’s First Friday event, hosted by The Slate Valley Museum and Pember Museum and Library will features an unveiling […]

Teens’ summer jobs pay off

By Christina Scanlon As the summer of 2015 winds down and local youth prepare to head back to school, 50 […]

Hampton primary could decide election

By Christina Scanlon November’s election could be decided next week in Hampton, depending how the votes play out at the […]