Learn | Deicing

Can Winter Deicing Really Improve Water Quality?

If you have been wondering whether winter deicing with a bubbler system, such as our Thawline Bubbler Deicer, can also at the same time improve water quality of your pond or lake, the answer is an unequivocal Yes!  The same Bubble Tubing diffuser technology used for lake-bottom aeration with a CanadianAir Diffusion System is used for deicing.Pond Winter Deicing with a Thawline Bubbler System

Although the water is cold when deicing systems are typically installed, there is still some benefit to the water body. Introducing oxygen to the floor of the water column, mixing the water and allowing the release of noxious gases that can build up under the ice are all important benefits to winter deicing. Many clients start up the deicing systems in October and end in May or even run them all year round, deicing in the winter, aerating in the summer.

How Winter Deicing Improves Water Quality

  • Oxygen is transferred at a higher rate in cold water than in warm water. This means more oxygen will be available to assist with degradation of organic matter, albeit very slowly in the cold weather months.
  • The rising bubbles from the diffuser moves the water column from the bottom to the top, where UV rays can do some purification. Although we do not know to what extent this may be of benefit, some of the sunniest days occur in the late fall, winter and early spring.
  • The bubbles travelling upward mix the layers of the thermocline much like what happens with wind, storm surges or upwelling. Mixing brings nutrients to the surface and oxygen below.
  • Winter deicing prevents ice buildup on the surface.  Thick ice can trap noxious gases that are released from the sediment level, often in the absence of oxygen. This prevents the dreaded winter fish kill.

Winter deicing has many benefits beyond the practicality of keeping structures and boats free of ice. Constantly moving water provides much needed oxygen to polluted water which can only help in the long run.

View some of our videos on our YouTube deicing playlist.