Speakers from Airmax, Inc. (aeration systems)
Jeff Sutter, Head of Sales for Airmax, Inc. and Dave Hattis, Regional Rep presented their products to the Board. The system they recommend for our lake is the PS80. These systems work to get oxygen to the bottom of the lake. The aeration system keeps Phosphorus (P) in the sediment, keeps water from stratifying and lifts the nutrient load. This makes the muck on the lake bottom aerobic. The system turns over the body of water once/day.
The 115 volt system sits on the ground enclosed in a tough case. It is a relatively quiet system as the ground absorbs some of the noise. It is quieter than an air conditioner. There are eight diffusers in each box and Airmax recommends five boxes for our lake, which adds up to 40 diffusers/bubblers. Nick McMahon of Pond & Lake Connection (PLC) had earlier suggested four systems. The systems run 24/7 from March/April to October/November. The system does not run in the winter. The tubing is self-weighted and its cost is a big part of the system cost.
Each box is generally placed at a homeowners property, run off their electricity and MLIF would reimburse the property owner for the electrical cost. The compressor has a 2-year warranty and can run 5-15 years if maintained. PLC would change the filters monthly. The cabinet has a lifetime guarantee. The diffuser has a 5-year warranty.
When asked about insurance needed because of the electrical use, Nick said he’d ask Jeff Stahl. When asked if MLIF would need to gain the approval of the town’s Inland Wetlands Board, the Airmax reps said they had never encountered that.
Jeff Sutter then presented a supplemental product, a natural, non-harmful bacteria that digests its food source (biomass on lake bottom), emits carbon dioxide that then rises out of the lake. Algae replicates itself every 24 hours but the bacteria replicates itself every 15 minutes. The first month the lake would be treated with a double dose and months 2-5 would have single doses. To treat the entire lake 5 times with the bacteria product would cost $40,500. MLIF could have a 40% discount if purchased with the aeration system.
In response to Board member cost questions, Mr. Sutter noted that if we can’t do both the aeration and the bacteria, we should use the aeration system first then bacteria later. The bacteria can also be used in smaller areas.
Upon thanking the representatives of Airmax for their presentation and Nick McMahon (PLC) for attending, the regular business of the MLIF Board commenced.
The President and the Treasurer are currently proposing the same budget as 2019 for 2020.
Thanks to our watershed residents’ response to our fundraising letters, 2019 donations were up from 2018.
The Thrift Shop grant application is due at the end of January and the Richardson Grant application is due at the end of February.
There was a total of four new residents in the watershed in November and December. They were mailed our Welcome letter together with information about the lake.
To refresh memories, at the November Board meeting, PLC presented several ideas to help our lake:
– Lock up the P with products like Phoslock/Alum. Cost estimate for one time application of Phoslock to reset the P levels in the lake $238,000. This could be applied over time to spread the cost. For every lb. of Phoslock added, an exact amount of P is locked up. Treatment could be broken up over 4, 8 or 12 years.
– Introduce oxygen to the lake bottom to keep nutrients locked up in the sediment using an aeration system. There are two types:
1) Diffused air using a compressor to pump air to diffusers at lake bottom. As bubbles rise to the surface, they bring low oxygen bottom water to surface where it is replaced by high oxygen surface water.
2) Nano-bubble system that sits on shore and pulls in lake water, adds oxygen and sends out into lake. Bubbles are very small and don’t rise to surface giving them enough contact time to diffuse their oxygen into the water. Bubbles stay in suspension for weeks. Case studies of similar lakes were successful with reduced P and more clarity. One such company has a website “Moleaer”
The Board discussed the proposal presented earlier this evening from Airmax diffused air system. The cost for 4 systems would be $47,000 and 5 systems $60,000 with the addition of the monthly electrical cost and the initial electrician charges. It was suggested that we try the aeration but would need references. It was decided that we would need lead-time to gain more information about the systems, check references and mount a fundraising campaign including grant applications. An aeration system will be discussed again in February but is looking unlikely for spring 2020.
2020 Meeting Calendar
The Board members decided to hold the 2020 MLIF Annual Meeting on March 5. The new 2020 calendar of Board meetings will be posted on our website.
Mimi Dalbey will again chair this committee. The Board expressed a strong desire to find new members for the Board. It was suggested that all Board members approach someone showing an interest in the lake to become active and possibly join the Board.
Annual Meeting Content
We will invite our lake management company (PLC) to present the plan for 2020. To comply with MLIF By-laws, postcards announcing the details of the Annual Meeting will be sent to all watershed residents.
Seeking funds from local businesses – A draft introduction letter and pamphlet has been created. Because of lack of time, the Board will study these at the next meeting.