HAB had another productive day and applied 29,000 gallons of alum to the lake. HAB’s application equipment is well-suited for the precision required for the Fish Lake restoration project. Any gaps in coverage would allow for phosphorus from untreated lakebed sediments to leach into the overlying water column and stimulate future algal blooms. An onboard computer system ensures that application is complete and uniform by integrating the location of the barge with GPS, the barge speed, water depth and alum flow rates. The exact dose is programed into the software and inline flow sensors measure the flow of alum through the distribution lines in real time. Automated values, which are controlled by the computer, open and close as needed to adjust for barge speed and location to make certain the prescribed dose is applied. Tadd Barrow (HAB’s application specialist) follows a grid and each application path is recorded and displayed on the guidance monitor to prevent gaps in the application. At the end of the project, HAB produces a coverage map showing every application path and confirms the complete coverage of the lake.
Today was also busy with many visitors and observers. A group of around 20 people gathered to participate in the Fish Lake Alum Demonstration Day. The group was able to observe and learn more about the plan and goals for the Fish Lake restoration project. Dr. John Holz (HAB) had the opportunity to provide an onsite lecture on the role phosphorus in lakes, internal loading of phosphorus and benefits of alum in reducing phosphorus concentrations and improving water quality. Tadd Barrow (HAB) provided a thorough description of HAB’s barge and application technology that is required to conduct alum projects in a precise, effective and safe manner. The turnout, interest and support of the project was impressive! HAB acknowledges the years of effort by so many people to make this project a reality and feels fortunate to be a part of it. A special thanks to the Brian Vlach (Senior Water Resources Manager, Three Rivers Park District) for helping organize the event and providing such great overview of the project!