Kitsap Lake Phoslock Treatment Provides Results in Year One

Aquatechnex biologists applying Phoslock to Kitsap Lake in June of 2020 to mitigate HAB Blooms

Kitsap Lake is a 256 acre waterbody in the Puget Sound Region and for the past number of years has been plagued with Harmful Algae Blooms (HAB).  HAB presence in a lake can be a threat to wildlife, pets and human health.  These forms of algae can produce both acute and chronic toxins.  The acute toxins like microcystin and anatoxin a are dangerous and fast acting.  There are a number of pet deaths attributed to animals drinking from an impacted lake each year.  There are also compounds that are known to cause ALS and other longer term diseases produced by these algae species.  Recently researchers at the University of Florida documented microcystin toxins airborne 10 miles downwind of an infested lake under light breeze conditions.

The City of Bremerton hired our team to develop a phosphorus management plan in 2019.  The data collected showed that the use of phosphorus sequestering technologies could help mitigate HAB blooms in the lake

Phoslock was selected as the approach to help mitigate HAB blooms.  Phoslock is a technology that was developed by the Australian Government about two decades ago.  Our company brought this technology into the United States in 2010 for a project in Southern California.  Phoslock when applied to a lake will capture free reactive phosphorus in the water column and create a mineral that will never be biologically available again.  These applications can also cap lake sediments and prevent release from the sediments.

Our team performed two applications to Kitsap Lake in 2020, a water column stripping application was made in June and a second application was performed to capture phosphorus that had been accumulating in the hypolimnion in August.

The lake experienced 14 foot or better secchi disc readings all summer.  In 2021, additional sampling and Phoslock work will be performed to catch additional phosphorus introductions.

For more information on Phoslock please visit project stories on our web site. Laguna Niguel Lake – Aquatechnex and Lake Lorene – Aquatechnex

New HAB/Toxic Algae Monitoring and Response System

This buoy measures chlorophyll a and the pigment that is unique to HAB Blue Green Algae and uploads to the Cloud every 15 minutes. We can monitor your lake from our computer or phone and respond

Aquatechnex biologists have deployed the first of many algae monitoring buoys for our clients in Southern California.  This system measures a number of water quality parameters and reports via onboard cellular system every 15 minutes.  Two of the key parameters measured are Chlorophyll a with provides a measure of algae biomass and Phycocyanin which is a pigment that is unique to Blue Green Algae species.  Blue green algae or cyanobacteria are toxin producers that cause significant problems in our nations lakes and reservoirs.

Every day we examine conditions in these lakes remotely.  When we see Chlorophyll a or Phycocyanin levels increase, we mobilize treatment teams to target and control that growth before it becomes a full blown bloom or toxin producing event.  This allows us to be more proactive and responsive in our mission to keep your lakes free from toxin producing conditions.

To sign up for this service please fill out our contact form and we will get with you shortly.

Eurasian Milfoil in Seattle Lakes, A new solution

Lake Wilderness, milfoil free for a number of years thanks to Aquatechnex

Eurasian Milfoil has plagued Seattle area waterways for decades.  Our team at Aquatechnex has successfully dealt with this invasive aquatic weed for a number of years under permits from the Washington Department of Ecology.  There are a number of legacy aquatic herbicides that are selective for Eurasian Milfoil, they can target that plant while not impacting beneficial native aquatic plants.

This past year, we have had access to Procellacor, a new technology to target and remove Eurasian Milfoil.  Procellacor is selective for Eurasian Milfoil and some other invasive aquatic plant species.  What makes it unique is that it has an extremely fast plant uptake time.  Aquatic herbicides have to be in the water around the target weeds long enough for them to receive a lethal dose.  The longer the plant uptake time, the higher the probability that factors such as dilution, currents, wind and boat action reduce the products in the weed beds.  Procellacor uptake is extremely rapid and we have been able to successfully treat milfoil growth in flowing water situations.

In addition, Procellacor has very limited impact on water use.  Some herbicides require a 24 hour swimming restriction and long periods where water from the treatment area can not e used for irrigation.  Procellacor has been approved by the US EPA and Washington Department of Ecology for use without any restriction on water use for potable supply, swimming, fishing or irrigating Turf Grass.  There is a short window for irrigating other ornamental plants.

If your lake community is interested in getting a handle on Eurasian Milfoil, we can help.  We can design a treatment protocol that will provide long term relief from this problem invasive plant.  Aquatechnex is Pro Certified to design and apply Procellacor throughout the Western United States.

Good Article on our Lake Ketchum Restoration Project

Aquatechnex has an ongoing contract to support the Snohomish County Surface Water Management Department in the Restoration of Lake Ketchum.  This lake just north of Seattle and Everett has been classified as one of the most degraded lakes in the state and was suffering from regular toxic algae blooms.  Aquatechnex was selected as the most qualified respondent to two RFP’s to restore the lake using phosphorus sequestering technologies.  Through treatments performed in 2014, 2015 and 2016, the data shows the lake is on it’s way to recovery.

Click on this link to view the complete story http://snohomishcountywa.gov/2451/Lake-Ketchum-Restoration

Excellent New Video of our Canyon Lake Phosphorus Mitigation Project

The Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority has developed a short video that highlights our Alum Treatment Project at Canyon Lake, you can view that at this address.  Canyon Lake Alum Treatment Video

Washington Department of Ecology is accepting comments on New NPDES Permit

Aquatic weed and toxic algae control is governed in Washington State through an NPDES permit.  This permit renews every five years or so.  The public has until December 18th to submit comments on this document for their consideration.  This is a very easy thing to do, first go to this link http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wq/pesticides/final_pesticide_permits/aquatic_plants/aquatic_plant_permit_index.html

Once you are there, you can download and read the permit, the best one to obtain is the “Red Line Comparison Draft Permit” because it shows what was removed from the previous one and what was added.

We have the following concerns and would hope you would consider supporting these points through comments yourself, the same page has a electronic submission system on the same page as the link above.

Our first concern is the new requirement that the applicator return to the lake and remove the signed Ecology requires be posted.  This is something that will add between $500 and $1,000 to the cost of completing noxious aquatic weed control for the clients that require these services.  There should be an exception that the sponsor organization or the homeowners we work for can remove these signs.

This permit keeps one of the primary tools we have to fight toxic algae blooms as experimental when it is completely operational world wide.  Phoslock is a technology that was developed 25 years ago by the Australian National Science Academy.  It sequesters phosphorus with a nontoxic technology and that lowers the carrying capacity for a lake or pond to develop toxic algae blooms.  The alternatives that are allowed are Alum buffered with Sodium Aluminate, this blend can be extremely toxic to fish and there have been two major fish kills from the introduction of these technologies to Washington Lakes in the past few years.  This has occurred when the buffer Sodium Aluminate is added to the mix.  This compound is extremely dangerous to handle.  There are over 20 published papers in peer reviewed scientific journals that support the operational use of this technology, it should be considered operational so there are alternatives to the more toxic technologies to turn back phosphorus pollution.

In the past decades, Sonar aquatic herbicide has been used to effectively eradicate the invasive aquatic weed Eurasian Milfoil using a whole lake treatment scenario.  This practice would effectively be banned by this permit.  The laws in Washington State prohibit actions that would impair the control of noxious aquatic weeds and not having access to this technology where appropriate would impair Eurasian Milfoil Control Efforts.  In addition, there has been one infestation of Hydrilla in Washington State and that infestation was eradicated using whole lake treatment technology.  If Hydrilla returns, and as a Class A noxious weed its eradication is mandated, this permit will limit the ability to attack this plant.

Please give this some thought and consider posting comments.

Canyon Lake Phosphorus Project is Deemed Successful

This article appeared in the local Newspaper summarizing the work we have been doing at Canyon Lake.  This project is helping them deal with TMDL limits on Phosphorus in the lake.  http://www.pe.com/articles/lake-781410-water-authority.html

New T.R.U.E Aquatic Herbicide Delivery System

Introduction

For a number of decades it has been understood that weighted drop hoses are one of the better ways to deliver liquid aquatic herbicides within the water column. The key to a successful treatment is to understand the concentration exposure time relationship for the herbicide selected and the target plant, and then to deliver it in a fashion that enhances uniform delivery and exposure within the weed beds. The University of Florida and applicators in that region developed the concept of weighted hoses about 30 years ago.

Littline Technology

One of the issues with weighted hose delivery systems has always been that the deeper the treatment site, the harder it is to keep the hoses down there. Treating water depths up to 15 feet with conventional weighted hose technology is no problem. The problem occurs when the target weed beds are in 15-25 feet of water.

Herbicide and dye injected deep in treatment zone

Herbicide and dye injected deep in treatment zone

One solution to this problem was the development of the Littline approximately one decade ago. This technology uses a very long hose dragged behind the application boat, this additional length of hose and the weight of the hose overcame the issues with treating weed plots in excess of 15 foot water depths. It does however present some challenges to uniform delivery of herbicides within the water column.

 

The Littline system relies on 2 long hoses with a small spray tip on the end of the line. If you view the Two Hose System diagram shown here, you will see that the entire herbicide load for the entire horizontal and vertical cross section of water are placed in two lines near the bottom of the lake about the size of a dime. This means that at the point of delivery, the herbicide rate in the water is very high and the dynamic of dilution is required to spread the herbicide both vertically and horizontally in the water column to obtain a uniform exposure.

Two hose system places entire herbicide load for large cross section of treatment zone in two dime sized lines deep in the plot

Two hose system places entire herbicide load for large cross section of treatment zone in two dime sized lines deep in the plot

This doesn’t always happen and is variable at best in terms of uniformity of herbicide concentration in the target weed beds. There can be zones in the treatment area with very high rates of herbicide and zones with low rates of herbicide causing an uneven concentration and exposure rate throughout the target zone. This can impact the efficacy of the application.

 

 

 

Aerial shot of large Littline Treatment, note striping of control and no control zones, probably due to poor herbicide distribution vertically and horizontally in the water column

Aerial shot of large Littline Treatment, note striping of control and no control zones, probably due to poor herbicide distribution vertically and horizontally in the water column

The T.R.U.E. System

The Target Rate Uniform Exposure or TRUE Aquatic Herbicide Application System improves upon this concept of delivering and maintaining a concentration and exposure time of an aquatic herbicide within the weed bed.

The TRUE system consists of two large herbicide storage tanks, a GPS controlled herbicide flow system for precision application and from six to eight drop hoses with variable depth herbicide discharge points.

The TRUE system places herbicide uniformly horizontally and vertically within the water column insuring concentration and exposure time is achieved

The TRUE system places herbicide uniformly horizontally and vertically within the water column insuring concentration and exposure time is achieved

This diagram shows the concept of using micro tips. Instead of discharging the entire herbicide load for the entire cross section of water through two dime sized tips near the lake bottom, the TRUE system has from 24 to 36 (depending on configuration) discharge points uniformly placed within the treatment cross section profile. This allows for uniform placement of the targeted application rate throughout the horizontal and vertical profile. The herbicide only has to dilute from 1 to 2 feet before it overlaps with the adjacent injection point as opposed to up to 20 feet with the two hose system.

This technology is the next logical step in the evolution of aquatic herbicide application technology. It insures that the applicator can comply with NPDES requirement of delivery the herbicide with the Best Available Technology (BET). It insures better control with the herbicide applied because of the improved delivery. It also results in being able to deliver control with less herbicide, there can be savings of up to $200.00 per treated acre vs. a two hose system.

 
 

 

 

The Management Trust selects Aquatechnex as Trusted Partner

The Management Trust is a leading national community association management firm that specializes in serving condo associations and homeowner associations across the United States. With a combined 150 years experience, we are committed to providing the very best customer service to those that work with them.

Trusted Partners is a risk management and sales development product designed to provide our community association clients with the highest level of professional management services. The Management Trust only admits the very best vendors as Trusted Partners, vendors who value workmanship and professionalism above their bottom line.  The impact of this program has been readily apparent to our clients and vendors alike, and promises to be a key tool for building and maintaining great communities well into the future.

New Herbicide Application Technology Helps Comply with NPDES

Limiting the number of hoses and deliver points means that the herbicide load has to dilute quite some distance within the weed column to be effective

Limiting the number of hoses and deliver points means that the herbicide load has to dilute quite some distance within the weed column to be effective

The advent of the NPDES permit program brings with it a need to deliver the control necessary while looking for ways to advance technology to do more with less herbicide.  This has been a key mission of aquatic applicators and Aquatechnex has developed a breakthrough technology in this regard.

The Targeted Rate Uniform Exposure (TRUE) application system allows us to deliver liquid aquatic herbicides within the portion of the water column (the weed column) infested with target invasive aquatic weeds.

In recent years longer trailing hose systems have helped to better deliver herbicides in deeper water plant communities.  The one drawback of that system however is that using 2 hoses the entire herbicide load for a large cross section of the weed column is placed in two small lines about the size of a dime, the herbicide then has to dilute up to 10 feet vertically and 15 feet horizontally.  This can lead to un-uniform herbicide distribution within the weed zone, and can necessitate the need to apply more herbicide than necessary.

The TRUE system utilizes microjet technology at from 18 to 25 injection points within the weed column to delivery uniform herbicide rapidly

The TRUE system utilizes microjet technology at from 18 to 25 injection points within the weed column to delivery uniform herbicide rapidly

The TRUE system utilized 6 long drop hoses with TEEJET Microjet technology.  Smaller herbicide orifices are spaced at two foot intervals along each drop hose.  This allows the herbicide to be placed in the water column through 18 to 24 individual microjets.  As establishing a uniform rate within the weed bed is critical, this system helps by placing the herbicide both vertically and horizontally at significantly more locations.  The herbicide only has to move 1 to 2 feet before it overlaps with the next jet and the weed column is rapidly filled with the correct rate.  This provides the capability to reduce the amount of herbicide placed in the weed column while still delivering the uniform exposure required for control.