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Joined: Oct 2021
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My questions are after the third paragraph, but here's the background:

I live on a 14-acre lake in central Virginia. Ours is one of about 50 homes on the lake, in a community of 500 homes. We have large number of off-lake residents that fish the lake regularly. The lake is shaped somewhat like a teardrop, with the large end to the west. I happen to live at the east end, which is a nice little cove that's partially split by a narrow island (maybe 20' x 100').

The lake is fed by streams and runoff, and I'm getting data together to assess the overall health of the lake. It's been tested for water quality in that past, but I don't have that info..

Here's why I'm posting. The center of the lake is probably 15-20'. Where I live is where all the debris and silt tend to end up, due to the winds from the west. We spend a ton of money having the lake dredged every decade or so, but this east end really needs selective dredging more often to allow good depth. Canoes rub bottom in places, and other places have under 3' depth where the actual bottom is probably 2-4 feel below that. It's a real problem, and we are having less success with amounts we can afford to dredge - and where to place the spoils.

I've been researching aeration as a possible (near) future way to keep the bottom clean, but here's my initial question:

If we aerate this eastern point, will the aeration actually reduce the current buildup? We have a mud flat (an eddy at the eastern point of the island) that's probably 4-5 feet thick, 50 feet long and 15 feet wide. It's just 6" or so below the lake surface. We also have a cove that's twice that size that's even shallower than the mud flat. If we drop diffusers into that muck, will it release gasses, accellerate decomposition, and actually "drop the bottom", without dredging?

Also, if we just aerate that eastern point, given the westerly winds, will that area benefit without aerating the entire lake? If we can reduce the volume of removed spoils by a decent percentage, that's money (staying) in the bank!

I'm sorry that this is so long, but I wanted to give you all the info. This old contractor / spec writer is stuck in his ways.

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JP1, welcome to Pond Boss!

There are a good bit of folks here who are very knowledgeable about aeration. My personal knowledge is very limited as I've never used aeration.

But, from what I've gathered from others here is that aeration does breakdown certain types of deposits or muck buildups on pond & lake bottoms. This would need verified, but I think the most 'easiest' stuff for aeration to break down is/are organic compounds such as decomposed, or partially decomposed, leafs.

Proper aeration is also based on some math, and there have been camps of thought that if you don't aerate enough, or don't have enough aeration, on a certain body of water, it can have detrimental effects.

So, how big is the lake? EDIT: I see in the topic that the lake is 14 acres.

Last edited by Sunil; 10/18/21 12:43 PM.

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Short answer in my opinion is no.

Aeration helps reduce muck buildup by providing O2 for the bacteria to thrive in deep water to chew up the organics. In shallow water there is enough O2 (I'm talking under 6, 7 foot water depth).

To reduce the amount of muck/sediment build up you really need to construct settling pond/silt trap ponds in the watershed prior to the water entering the lake, and clean those out every 2 years.


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