Can Winter Deicing Really Improve Water Quality?
The answer is yes! A bubbler system, such as our Thawline bubbler deicing system can also at the same time improve water quality of your pond or lake.
Although the water is cold when deicing systems are typically in operation, there are still some benefits to the water body’s quality. Introducing oxygen to the bottom of the water column mixes the water and allows the release of noxious gases that can build up under the ice, this is an additional benefit to winter deicing. Many of our clients start up the deicing systems in October and end in May or even run them all year round, deicing in the winter and aerating in the summer, hence allowing a double function for their deicing system.
How Winter Deicing Improves Water Quality
- Oxygen has more solubility in cold water than in warm water. Although biological processes are slower in low temperatures, this means more oxygen will be available to assist with degradation of organic matter through the winter months.
- The rising bubbles from the diffuser lifts the water column from the bottom to the surface, where UV rays can help disinfect the water. This can be particularly useful for bodies of water used to water livestock or irrigate crops, as they are more prone to be contaminated with coliforms which can come from manure or fertilizer flowing into them.
- The bubbles travelling upward mix the layers of the thermocline much like what happens with wind, storm surges or upwelling. Mixing brings oxygen to the bottom where it is needed for the digestion of organic sediments.
- Thick ice can trap noxious gases that are released from the sediment level such as carbon dioxide, methane and hydrogen sulfide, often in the absence of oxygen. Winter deicing prevents ice buildup on the surface. 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 and anoxic water which can only improve water quality in the long run.