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#513908 - 11/10/19 09:12 PM Natural blue water
Brett N Offline


Registered: 08/02/18
Posts: 30
Loc: Utah
I've described a big watersports lake resort community we are building here .

There will be a strong desire from residents for a nice aqua-blue color to the water. There are two experiences I've had with natural rivers/lakes here in the Rockies that exhibit an amazing natural deep blue color. In both cases the water had a high lime (calcium carbonate) content the reflects the blue light better. This is the same concept behind white swimming pool plaster as well.

Assuming I have the budget for it, would coating the lake bottom with a thin layer of small crushed limestone (pea gravel size with fines) produce a similar result? Both in terms of reflecting blue light off the bottom as well as suspended calcium carbonate in the water?


Edited by Brett N (11/10/19 09:14 PM)

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#513909 - 11/10/19 10:05 PM Re: Natural blue water [Re: Brett N]
Bill Cody Offline
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Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 13043
Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
It is my guess that the bottom layer of crushed limestone will soon be covered by sedimented decomposing organic materials sourced both internal productivity and allochthonous materials (originating other than within the lake) such as leaves and materials from the watershed. A large percentage of water bodies accumulate at least 1" of sedimented organic materials each year. The other important item will be the natural total hardness of the lake water. IMO better than adding crusted stone to the bottom areas adding larger sizes (3"-18") of limestone along large lengths of the shoreline which is much less likely to get buried by sediments. These wave washed lime based shorelines will more likely add the needed hardness for your objective. Reducing fertilizations of adjacent areas (lawns) and minimizing algae blooms will help a lot to maintain clearer water conditions that contribute to the natural blue water you are talking about. Also focus on inflow water has minimal suspended soil - muddy water.

Another important item is to have a deeper average depth and minimizing shallow shoreline areas that will contribute to resuspension of bottom sediments due to wave action on shorelines. Submerged plant problems will all occur in the shallow areas not the deepest areas so a large percentage of deep water is positive for your goals.


Edited by Bill Cody (11/10/19 10:10 PM)
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#513912 - 11/10/19 10:18 PM Re: Natural blue water [Re: Brett N]
Brett N Offline


Registered: 08/02/18
Posts: 30
Loc: Utah
Thanks Bill Cody for the info. The water here already has a high level of hardness. Homes all have water softeners to deal with it.

I won't have the luxury of using larger crushed limestone along the shoreline. It will be white beach sand at a 16:1 slope

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#513924 - 11/11/19 12:08 PM Re: Natural blue water [Re: Brett N]
liquidsquid Offline


Registered: 11/20/11
Posts: 1991
Loc: East Bloomfield, NY USA
I think it is highly unlikely to pull this off without treating the incoming water with something like extraordinary amounts of limestone. The local chemistry of the soils will dictate what sort of water clarity you have, wherever it comes from. If it is percolating through the soils as part of the water table, you will really have very little control over the appearance. If it is runoff, ban lawn chemical use, and again water will pick up whatever chemistry there is near the surface. Alum may wind up being your best friend to keep clarity up.

I would think an appropriate blend of colors and light application of pond dye would be the most cost-effective way to get a specific color. Combine that with the white sand will go a long ways to "light it up".

Reading your other threads on the soil type you are dealing with says to me that the ponds will likely be fertile, being an ancient lake bed combined with some deep top soils and a lot of homes nearby. When excavating, I would try to line and surround the ponds with "dead" clay, gravel, etc. Anything you can think of to keep nutrients at bay will go a long ways to make upkeep less of a hassle and expense.

I am no expert here, just chiming in based on observations how a pond in certain soils takes on the character of the soils in which it is dug in, and knowing pond color and clarity is almost luck of the draw.

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#513945 - 11/11/19 08:15 PM Re: Natural blue water [Re: Brett N]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 6056
Loc: Boone County Illinois
A question to the forum...Many folks here on the forum fertilize their ponds to get a bloom and water visibility of 18 to 24 inches because they want to raise fish. Bob L. provides that you need to have an alkalinity of a minimum of 20 ppm to get a bloom, no matter how much you fertilize. In this case, Brett does not want a bloom. Wouldn't he want to stay away from limestone and do what it takes to make the water more acid?

Brett,

Just because your water is very hard does not mean it is high in alkalinity. They are different critters. Do you know what the alkalinity of the source river water is?


Edited by Bill D. (11/11/19 08:19 PM)
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#513948 - 11/11/19 11:55 PM Re: Natural blue water [Re: Bill D.]
Brett N Offline


Registered: 08/02/18
Posts: 30
Loc: Utah
Originally Posted By: Bill D.
A question to the forum...Many folks here on the forum fertilize their ponds to get a bloom and water visibility of 18 to 24 inches because they want to raise fish. Bob L. provides that you need to have an alkalinity of a minimum of 20 ppm to get a bloom, no matter how much you fertilize. In this case, Brett does not want a bloom. Wouldn't he want to stay away from limestone and do what it takes to make the water more acid?

Brett,

Just because your water is very hard does not mean it is high in alkalinity. They are different critters. Do you know what the alkalinity of the source river water is?


I'm not sure. I had just assumed it is very alkaline because the natural lakes nearby are full of calcium carbonate and the soils here are typically alkaline.

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#513964 - 11/12/19 11:50 AM Re: Natural blue water [Re: Brett N]
ewest Offline
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Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 20018
Loc: Miss.
If it is to alkaline it will not support life.



Attachments
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Edited by ewest (11/12/19 11:54 AM)
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#513973 - 11/12/19 03:21 PM Re: Natural blue water [Re: Brett N]
jpsdad Offline


Registered: 05/20/18
Posts: 421
Loc: Texas
Water isn't colorless, it is actually blue. The deep clear water is always blue but other things in it give it different color. To have blue water you need water of low turbidity and low fertility and it help to a have a bottom that reflects the full spectrum of visible light (eg a white sand or limestone).

Don't know if you plan to have fish in this BOW but feeding them will turn what might otherwise be blue water to green ... something a fisherman doesn't mind seeing.

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#513975 - 11/12/19 08:03 PM Re: Natural blue water [Re: Brett N]
roundy Offline


Registered: 09/10/16
Posts: 265
Loc: Central Illinois
NASA explanation of blue water.

Blue water

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#513979 - 11/12/19 08:42 PM Re: Natural blue water [Re: Brett N]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 6056
Loc: Boone County Illinois
My advice Brett...

After reading your inputs from this and your other threads...

Your water source from the river can vary greatly, i.e. after a heavy rain it may be muddy and full of nutrients, during drought it may be crystal clear and barren of nutrients, and every where in between. You mentioned in another thread that you would have a property management crew that will be responsible for the grounds and water quality. My advice....make sure your property manager is an expert in water quality and how to maintain it. It will be the best money you spend on the project.


...Just my one cent.

I hope you keep the forum updated as your project moves forward. Lot's of folks don't and we are left wondering...

Good Luck!


Edited by Bill D. (11/12/19 08:43 PM)
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#513984 - 11/13/19 02:25 AM Re: Natural blue water [Re: Brett N]
Brett N Offline


Registered: 08/02/18
Posts: 30
Loc: Utah
Thanks for all the input. We are in negotiations now for purchase of the 185 acres. Once under contract, we will be able to dig into the site conditions to know exactly what we're dealing with.

I'll keep a loose progress log on here.

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#514016 - 11/14/19 09:47 AM Re: Natural blue water [Re: Brett N]
liquidsquid Offline


Registered: 11/20/11
Posts: 1991
Loc: East Bloomfield, NY USA
I for one cannot wait to watch your progress on this project. Please keep us posted with pictures!

While I personally would love to have access to water and boats like this, I wouldn't want to be crammed in with a bunch of neighbors competing with these same resources with their own opinions on how/when it should be used. Just not my bag, I like my privacy. It just makes me think of a small version of a Disney resort I wound't mind visiting, but living there full-time would get old quick for me. I am sure and know others who would enjoy this.

I was thinking about the white sand issue: you have something going good for you, is the wave action from the boats. The waves will keep the sand more or less clear. However, the sand will also move despite the shallow 1:16 slope. I was wondering if there was a product like a plastic erosion material, cell-like, that could be laid down to contain the sand. Place that down, and lay enough sand to cover it up, but the sand can never wash away below the surface of this material, preventing subsoil from being exposed and ruining the water quality.

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#514069 - 11/15/19 08:47 PM Re: Natural blue water [Re: roundy]
jpsdad Offline


Registered: 05/20/18
Posts: 421
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By: roundy
NASA explanation of blue water.

Blue water


smile I am smiling because the color water was once topic of a debate in my second college physics class. To be specific, the color of any object is determined by light of the visible spectrum it doesn't absorb. The is applies to red and green apples too.

The professor challenged the classes overwhelming opinion that water is clear. He argued that water is no different than any other object in terms of color. It's color is the combination of the spectrum emanating from it. When one classmate argued that water was clear because you can see right through it he countered that water has both the property of transparency and of opacity. Water obstructs light even when it is perfectly pure. He argued that this why it is visible and that only a pure vacuum could be considered transparent.

In the end, I agreed then and remain in agreement that if the color property of an object is determined by the light spectrum we see when we look at it then the color of water must be blue.


Edited by jpsdad (11/15/19 08:50 PM)

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#514101 - 11/17/19 12:33 PM Re: Natural blue water [Re: jpsdad]
Brett N Offline


Registered: 08/02/18
Posts: 30
Loc: Utah
Originally Posted By: jpsdad
Originally Posted By: roundy
NASA explanation of blue water.

Blue water


smile I am smiling because the color water was once topic of a debate in my second college physics class. To be specific, the color of any object is determined by light of the visible spectrum it doesn't absorb. The is applies to red and green apples too.

The professor challenged the classes overwhelming opinion that water is clear. He argued that water is no different than any other object in terms of color. It's color is the combination of the spectrum emanating from it. When one classmate argued that water was clear because you can see right through it he countered that water has both the property of transparency and of opacity. Water obstructs light even when it is perfectly pure. He argued that this why it is visible and that only a pure vacuum could be considered transparent.

In the end, I agreed then and remain in agreement that if the color property of an object is determined by the light spectrum we see when we look at it then the color of water must be blue.


I fundamentally agree that water is blue, despite that the low levels of opacity are due to refraction rather than absorption. But this would explain why white lime creates a more blue experience.

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#514103 - 11/17/19 03:27 PM Re: Natural blue water [Re: liquidsquid]
Brett N Offline


Registered: 08/02/18
Posts: 30
Loc: Utah
Originally Posted By: liquidsquid
I for one cannot wait to watch your progress on this project. Please keep us posted with pictures!

While I personally would love to have access to water and boats like this, I wouldn't want to be crammed in with a bunch of neighbors competing with these same resources with their own opinions on how/when it should be used. Just not my bag, I like my privacy. It just makes me think of a small version of a Disney resort I wound't mind visiting, but living there full-time would get old quick for me. I am sure and know others who would enjoy this.

I was thinking about the white sand issue: you have something going good for you, is the wave action from the boats. The waves will keep the sand more or less clear. However, the sand will also move despite the shallow 1:16 slope. I was wondering if there was a product like a plastic erosion material, cell-like, that could be laid down to contain the sand. Place that down, and lay enough sand to cover it up, but the sand can never wash away below the surface of this material, preventing subsoil from being exposed and ruining the water quality.


I understand your sentiments on population density, but I think you'd be very surprised how it actually feels.

First, the lots with homes on them will average 0.5+ acres. Some are 1.5-6.0acres. There are some smaller lots that are only 0.30-0.33 acres, but many of these won't be built on. They will be purchased as a daytrip getaway for non-resident owners. So the feeling in the end is actually that of reasonably large homes on large lots with a lot of space in between them because the average lot size is already larger than normal suburban subdivisions, and the fully landscaped but vacant lots feel like extra parks and green space.

Second, there will not be a theme park feel. It isn't a free for all where everyone is waiting in line to get a ride. We use sophisticated scheduling applications that allow people to make reservations for their sets, but disallow anyone from commandeering the boats for extended periods or numerous peak usage times. For example, sets are 15 minutes long and cost $20 each (to pay for fuel, equipment, driver, etc). The usage fee alone prevents a large amount of scheduling abuse because blocking out hours a day gets expensive. A single household can only initiate 3 reserved sets more than 2 weeks out, at the standard rate. 4 sets within 1 week. 5 sets within 2 days. Additionally, you can only schedule 30 minutes consecutive time without at least a 30 minute gap between reservations.

A resident is able to exceed these limits, but will pay a large premium to do so. For example, your kid is having a Sweet 16 party on July 7th and wants to do a boating/pool party out of the lakeside clubhouse. You want to block out 4 hours of boat time from 11am-3pm during the party. 45 minutes of that can be pre-booked for $60, but then the fee will increase at a rapid rate for each additional consecutive 15 minute set. Hypothetically, $40 for the 4th set, $60 for the 5th, $80 for the 6th, etc... in the end it would cost a bit over $2k for the blocked out time. Similarly, a resident can prebook 2 sets every Sat 10-10:30am, but would have to pay a significant premium to block everyone else off that slot for the whole season.

It's actually more sophisticated than that in reality, because the app adjusts for peak demand and low demand. So the rate of increase is slower in low times and higher during peak times. We've done extensive analysis of other lakes throughout the nation. Even at this population density, you'll still be able to get 80-100 hours of boat time per season if you want at the standard rates. That is a ton of boat time when you don't spend any of it cruising around in search of smooth water, and you don't have to spend any time trailering, docking, fueling, washing, etc. That many hours would be similar in experience to taking the family out boating for a full day twice a week for the entire summer.



Edited by Brett N (11/17/19 04:55 PM)

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#514113 - 11/18/19 07:28 AM Re: Natural blue water [Re: Brett N]
Dave Davidson1 Offline
Moderator
Lunker

Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 14128
Loc: Hurst & Bowie, Texas
Will residents have access in their own boats? Doesn’t sound like the business plan allows it. And, it makes financial sense.
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#514165 - 11/19/19 07:28 PM Re: Natural blue water [Re: Dave Davidson1]
Brett N Offline


Registered: 08/02/18
Posts: 30
Loc: Utah
Originally Posted By: Dave Davidson1
Will residents have access in their own boats? Doesn’t sound like the business plan allows it. And, it makes financial sense.


No, residents cannot use private boats on the lakes. With this many residents, there isn't any way to coordinate the schedule or limit liability. Besides, the whole point is that these residents will have a much better boating experience at their fingertips for far less cost than if they owned their own boat.

For example, I would spend about $3k/year boating in this community, but the same amount of use currently costs me $8k/year to own my own boat and use it at public lakes. Not to mention the hassle of travel and upkeep. Also, I wouldn't spend most of my day looking for relatively smooth water.

We will always have 4 boats in the community. 2 will be brand new (one comp series ski boat and one comp series wake boat) each year and always stay in use at the respective lakes. The big lake will have a second boat that is last year's model to accommodate simultaneous riders for tubing. The fourth boat will be available for rent (at an economical $200/day) if residents want to take their family boating offsite.

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#514167 - 11/19/19 08:46 PM Re: Natural blue water [Re: Brett N]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 6056
Loc: Boone County Illinois
How many households will be in this community of avid skiers, including the rental properties, that will be competing for the use of so few boats on a beautiful Saturday? What if one boat breaks down? Not trying to be critical, I'm just struggling to understand how this will work from a homeowner satisfaction standpoint without having a bunch of angry homeowners being told they can have 30 minutes in 3 weeks. I do understand how it will work from a business standpoint with 100% booked boats.


Edited by Bill D. (11/19/19 10:59 PM)
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#514172 - 11/19/19 11:30 PM Re: Natural blue water [Re: Bill D.]
Brett N Offline


Registered: 08/02/18
Posts: 30
Loc: Utah
Originally Posted By: Bill D.
How many households will be in this community of avid skiers, including the rental properties, that will be competing for the use of so few boats on a beautiful Saturday? What if one boat breaks down? Not trying to be critical, I'm just struggling to understand how this will work without having a bunch of angry homeowners being told they can have 30 minutes in 3 weeks.


The community has approx 320 households. I think you'd be surprised how many of them won't use the boats. We've done a lot of research and at this density we expect the lakes to be overall at about 50% capacity.

Most times we can have 3 boats running at a time. Boat breakdowns won't be much of an issue as there will be 4 boats, two of which are brand new, and the other two held over from the prior season. Two boats will be rotated out every season and they will be professionally maintained daily.

At least half of residents won't ever get pulled by a boat; too young, too old, too out of shape, too busy... there are many things that get in the way. And when you have this at your fingertips to get a couple runs in any time you want, it changes your perspective. Everyone is no longer planning their weekend around travelling to the lake, spending 6 hours weaving in and out of other boats, then travelling back and cleaning up. The conditions are perfect most of the time, there are more hours in a day to ride, and the season is about 45-60 days longer.

The avid skiers don't ski in the middle of a summer day anyway. They get up before sunrise to get the smooth water before the other boats arrive. In a community like this, they are the ones getting picked up in their backyard at 6-7am every 2 or 3 days to get their set in before work, or under the lights 9-10pm. Kids also aren't waiting for the weekend so Dad can take them to the lake. They can get their sets in anytime, and when they aren't in or behind the boat, they are on the dock with swimming pools, hot tubs, volleyball, beach, etc.

Will there be beautiful Saturdays that are booked full? Sure, but what I'm suggesting is that with a good scheduling system it's not the inconvenience you have in your mind. Our target demo either owns or wishes they could own a new Wakesetter/Prostar/Air Nautique and hopes to get out to the lake twice a month during the summer to justify the $70-100k purchase. When they do get to the lake, the experience is mediocre as they fight all the other boats. In our community, this same family would get 2-4x more sets in a season for the same cost, and every set will be perfect or near perfect conditions.

Also keep in mind that here in the second driest state in the nation, there is otherwise no such thing as lakefront property. Many residents will buy here just for that waterfront aspect, without much intent of using the boats.

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#514192 - 11/20/19 10:30 PM Re: Natural blue water [Re: Brett N]
liquidsquid Offline


Registered: 11/20/11
Posts: 1991
Loc: East Bloomfield, NY USA
I have to say this is a really well thought out plan, and the drawings didn't really give me a sense of scale of the lots being that large.

Around here in NY, the lot sizes get smaller and smaller, while the houses get larger and larger. At least it is economical in that you can share a bar of soap between the bathroom windows! The tracts are designed to cram in as many people as possible, and provide no balance to the environment like green space or a simple retention pond. Just stuff them cookie-cutter houses in!

The funny thing is I totally like the idea of boat rentals rather than owning one. My wife has on and off mentioned that we should get a boat, but I nix that one as I have seen how much of a time and money sink they can be. However, if I am going to rent a boat, I am going to need it long enough to put it to good use between fishing, skiing, wake-boarding, drinking, sobering up, and finally going to dinner (maybe taking a nap somewhere in there too). But when you have access to the Finger Lakes and the St. Lawrence river, there is much you can access with a boat.

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#514261 - 11/23/19 01:26 PM Re: Natural blue water [Re: liquidsquid]
Brett N Offline


Registered: 08/02/18
Posts: 30
Loc: Utah
Originally Posted By: liquidsquid
I have to say this is a really well thought out plan, and the drawings didn't really give me a sense of scale of the lots being that large.

Around here in NY, the lot sizes get smaller and smaller, while the houses get larger and larger. At least it is economical in that you can share a bar of soap between the bathroom windows! The tracts are designed to cram in as many people as possible, and provide no balance to the environment like green space or a simple retention pond. Just stuff them cookie-cutter houses in!

The funny thing is I totally like the idea of boat rentals rather than owning one. My wife has on and off mentioned that we should get a boat, but I nix that one as I have seen how much of a time and money sink they can be. However, if I am going to rent a boat, I am going to need it long enough to put it to good use between fishing, skiing, wake-boarding, drinking, sobering up, and finally going to dinner (maybe taking a nap somewhere in there too). But when you have access to the Finger Lakes and the St. Lawrence river, there is much you can access with a boat.


Yeah when you look at the draft layout, it looks like those are little 60ft wide lots about 1/8 acre in size. Then you realize that the lakes are 1/2 mile long and the riverfront is almost 1.5 miles. In meetings with equity partners, the moment that I say 185 acres, their eyes get big.

This community is targeting the crowd that loves the fun of boating but hates the expense and hassle of owning a boat. There is a massive push in the US toward shared amenities and renting. The hassle free adventurous lifestyle crammed into the gaps between work, soccer, dance, basketball, and sleep.

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#514262 - 11/23/19 01:31 PM Re: Natural blue water [Re: Brett N]
Brett N Offline


Registered: 08/02/18
Posts: 30
Loc: Utah
We are waiting on a counter offer from the mand sellers, but I think we are close to clearing the final hurdles on securing the land. The next 4 months of governmental hassle is gonna be fun.

I'm happy to do a progress report here. Maybe I should start a new thread though. It will be a good lesson in how to and how not to build a really big pond.

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