Lake Templene Sludge Reduction
A freshwater lake in Michigan reduced sludge to increase water depth and improve water quality following use of a piloted bacterial blend.
This 900-acre manmade lake in Michigan had the goal of reducing organic waste, starving unwanted vegetation and increasing lake depth to avoid the expense of dredging. Mechanical dredging costs $75,000/acre on average and it can be very time consuming and messy. Microbial treatment costs, on average, $4,300/acre annually, including shock dosages.
The goal was to break down sludge, muck and other organic debris and ingest substrates that cause discolorations in the water. Bacterial and enzymatic blends have proven effective on breaking down dead and decaying debris and sludge buildup that reduce lake depth.
The task was to test several bacterial strains over three months. Using a product line with extracellular enzymes and fungus, the top six strains were selected. Testing continued with various ratios of the strains, achieving 40% reduction of the sludge sample within 7 hours. The results showed that Aspergillus oryzae, a fungus, achieved a 50% reduction of the sample with the highest cellulosic content within 6 hours.
Based on lab results, year-round use of Clarify™ powder along with proper aeration of Lake Templene was recommended. This includes an enzyme package, primarily cellulase, and the fungal cellulase profile, which acts faster than bacterial cellulase on fibrous matrices of lake beds. The formula was developed to treat larger bodies of water where organic substrates and pollution are more widespread, and where an extra punch of cellulosic activity is needed.
The expectation was that the depth of the lake would increase by 2.4 inches/year based on the depth of the sludge. After 8 months of regular treatment, a third party performed a bathymetric testing, discovering that the lake depth had increased by 12 inches. Maintenance treatments continued, achieving 12-inch increases in lake depth each year.
As of 2020, Lake Templene is 5 feet deeper than it was when treatments began with Clarify™ powder. The water is clearer with significantly less algae growth.
A few algal blooms occurred due to environmental reasons. These required copper sulfate treatments for control. The microbial treatments were spaced 4-5 days after copper sulfate treatments in order to maintain a constant spore population.
The end result of the increase in the water depth is improved lake health and water quality. People enjoying the lake are seeing and catching larger fish. The water is clearer and deeper, which likely contributes to the health of the fish and other creatures who depend on Lake Templene for their survival.
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