Well-placed waterbodies can challenge even the best golfer, but their value goes far beyond the game. Golf course lakes are generally designed for both aesthetic and functional purposes and are usually linked to the course’s overall irrigation and drainage plan. Choosing the proper oxygenation approach is essential to managing these complex aquatic systems.
Lake aeration introduces circulation and dissolved oxygen, which help prevent algae overgrowth and contribute to healthy fish and bird populations. A brief discussion of the three aeration categories may help you choose the right system for your needs.
These systems, also called pond aerators, vigorously recirculate surface water, maximizing interaction of air and water and preventing toxic algae growth. They are quite efficient and work best for smaller, pond-sized waterbodies, though multiple units may be used for higher volumes. The vigorous recirculation does make some noise, so in areas where quiet is important, this option may be less desirable.
Diffusion aerators, or bubblers, are designed to sit at the bottom of the lake or pond. Air from the bubbles mixes with the water as it rises to the surface, allowing for effective vertical oxygenation. Bubblers generate slightly less oxygen than some other systems, but their silence is their advantage. Bubblers are ideal for golf course aeration settings, such as near a green, where quiet and concentration are desired.
Fountain aerators, the most popular choice for golf courses, spray water in attractive patterns and return oxygenated water to the lake surface. Fountains make some noise as falling water hits the surface, though aesthetic features may outweigh this. Because the action happens near the surface, waterbodies less than 10 feet deep may benefit the most.
Oxygenation is essential to the vitality of an aquatic ecosystem. Without it, harmful algae blooms can flourish in the warm surface layers of your pond or lake. Golfers will likely be repelled by a stagnant, unsightly water feature. Adequate circulation and dissolved oxygen are essential to your management plan and will help your lakes and ponds achieve the aesthetic and functional goals your patrons will remember.