Pond to get Innovative Treatment

The Orleans Pond Coalition is undertaking a new method of increasing oxygen in Sarah’s Pond in hopes of improving the water quality there.

The plan is to use ultra-fine oxygen bubbles in the pond from May to October of next year.

The Coalition says the method is an effective way to increase oxygen in fresh water ponds. OPC will be the first organization to use UFB oxygenation in New England. The system involves no chemicals other than oxygen, deployed in bubbles invisible to the naked eye and capable of remaining in solution for very long periods of time, even weeks. This is different from other conventional aeration systems whose bubbles quickly rise and escape.

Dissolved oxygen helps a pond’s own biological defenses protect against toxic algae blooms and other impacts of pollution. Sarah’s Pond is a 5.8-acre pond with two basins.

By using the UFB oxygenation system in the east basin and keeping the west basin as a control, we hope to measure differences in water quality, such as improved oxygen levels, water clarity, suppression of algal blooms and improvement of the pond’s natural biome.

UFB oxygenation may even inhibit phosphorus release from sediments that can cause algal blooms.

At present, OPC is projecting the 5.8-acre project at Sarah’s Pond to cost just over $30 thousand for the equipment, installation and a 2-year maintenance contract. In addition, OPC spent about $5,000 in consultant fees to design the system and to go through the MA DEP permitting process. Operating costs for electricity to be around $31 per month.

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