Most freshwater bodies worldwide are exposed to organic and inorganic loads due to human activity. External pollution results nutrient abundance and organic overload in freshwater lakes, which speeds up the succession process. As a result, several thousand-year processes become few decade processes where the lake’s life cycle comes to an early end by forming a swamp in a few decades. The acceleration of this process is due to intensive agricultural activity, the infiltration of fertilizers rich in Nitrogen and Phosphorous compounds, over-stocking of fish species, over-use of fish food applied by anglers, and simply the expansion of human civilization (e.g. treated and untreated municipal or industrial wastewater load).

As a result, the world’s lakes and slow-moving rivers are struggling with:

  • Upset of ecological balance
  • Deterioration of water quality
  • Proliferation of algae and aquatic plants, high level of organic sludge formation
  • Temporary or permanent deficiency of dissolved Oxygen in the water, fish kills
  • Odour complaints and fish kills caused by Hydrogen Sulphide, free Ammonia and Mercaptans
  • Abundance of pathogenic bacteria

Lake succession means the continuous increase of sediment level, and decrease of water column level, which is a natural process. However, this process is highly accelerated by nutrient-enrichment in freshwater lakes. For preserving our freshwater bodies in an ecological condition that is favourable for the growth and proliferation of wildlife we need to intervene from time-to-time to reduce the adverse effects, by the improvement of water quality, and the reduction of the harm the aquatic life struggles with.

The concept of bioremediation is not recent, the solution is given for decades.  By definition, bioremediation is the elimination of contaminants in the environment using microorganisms or plants (in case of plants, the term ‘phytoremediation’ is often used).

In case of freshwater bioremediation, the definition of bioremediation is more complicated. Bioremediation of freshwater bodies means the improvement of the conditions in highly eutrophic waters (in a bad ecological state) by the introduction of all natural, useful microorganisms and enzymes isolated from soil or water. These microorganisms are capable of leading the total aquatic ecosystem back to the ecological balance needed for a healthy aquatic life.

The essence of bioremediation is the enrichment of water with bacterial species that take a significant part in the freshwater’s natural self-purification processes, by highly accelerating them without any harmful side effects. After entering the water these non-pathogenic, and non-GMO bacterial cultures can effectively break down the organic materials in the water column, reduce the concentration of inorganic nutrients by removing (N) and immobilizing (P) them, restore the DO balance of the freshwater body, and break down the organic content of the sediment layer in oxidative conditions, forming harmless carbon dioxide and water as end products of the organic removal. By successfully re-establishing the lake’s ability for self-purification, algae/aquatic weed control, water quality improvement, the height of the sediment layer starts to decrease while the sediment is stabilized by the massive reduction of its organic content. Significantly reduced anaerobic activity in the sediment layer results the fall of anaerobic gas production as well (H2S, NH3). The yearly sediment production will also drop significantly, the Dissolved Oxygen balance in the water column will be restored, the risk of potential fish kills will be reduced to minimum. As a result of the treatment, the water body reaches an ecological state, as it would be without the adverse effects of human civilization.

Bioclean Pond Clarifier, Bioclean Aqua, and Pond Pure are our three all-natural products consisting of microbes and enzymes isolated from soil and natural water bodies. The application of the 3 biotechnological additives means that we reintroduce those microorganisms of the aquatic life which are responsible for the self-purification of the freshwater bodies in high numbers but are currently extinct or outgrown by other species due to pollution, chemical treatments, and eutrophication.

Field of application: bioremediation of natural and artificial freshwater lakes, slow-moving rivers, aquaculture ponds, water quality improvement in intensive fish farming, aquariums

  • Prevents and controls algae growth (non-algaecide, but inhibits the growth of algae by removing N and P sources from the water needed for their metabolism)
  • Prevents the overgrowth of aquatic plants and various aquatic weed species
  • Improves self-purification processes
  • Metabolises natural or artificial, solid and dissolved forms of organic matter in the water column, as a result the transparency of the water significantly improves.
  • In the benthic area at the bottom of the lake, microorganisms break down the organic fraction of the sludge in oxidative environment, starting the breakdown from the top of the sediment layer.
  • Eliminates Hydrogen Sulphide, free Ammonia and Mercaptan production of the sediment layer, as a result it prevents fish kills and odour complaints.
  • Stabilises dissolved Oxygen balance in every layer of the water column.
  • Restores the disturbed ecological balance, providing a better environment for fish and other higher aquatic life forms.

Click here for more information on Bioclean Pond Clarifier: literature, dosage, application!

Field of application: bioremediation of natural and artificial freshwater lakes, slow-moving rivers, aquaculture ponds, water quality improvement in intensive fish farming, aquariums

  • Significantly reduces the concentration of ammonium
  • Ensures adequate dissolved Oxygen concentration
  • Reduces organic matter concentration in the water column (COD and BOD)
  • Significantly reduces Hydrogen Sulphide formation
  • Significantly reduces scum formation
  • Eliminates the threat of multicellular algae proliferation
  • Improves self-purification processes
  • Significantly reduces pathogenic bacteria count (Coliform, Vibrio and Aeromonas etc.)
  • Boosts immune system, reduces natural mortality of fish and other aquatic animals
  • Enhances the metabolic system of fish and other higher aquatic life forms, improves the efficiency of nutrient utilization

Click here for more information on Bioclean Aqua: literature, dosage, application!

Field of application: High rate algae control in smaller ponds, water quality improvement in intensive fish farming, aquariums

  • Performs high pace in nutrient (N,P) reduction
  • Further improves water clarity
  • Digests dissolved and particulate organic matter with improved pace
  • Improves self-purification processes
  • Delivers quick and visible results in highly hypertrophic ponds

Click here for more information on Pond Pure: literature, dosage, application!

The pace of the bioremediation process can be boosted by mixing the water in the lake. The continuous motion of the water body intensifies the microbiological treatment because the number of impacts between the microbes and the food source (pollution) increases.

However, mixing the water body in a freshwater lake requires careful approach, and professionalism: the benthic area, the sediment zone must not be affected by the mixing, this is key-essential. If the mixing hurts the sediment layer, the organic content of the sediment (particulated, and dissolved organic substances, dissolved nutrients) may enter the water column, which can have an adverse effect on the Dissolved Oxygen, and nutrient balance of the lake, causing fish kills. It is also essential that the mixing must affect the entire water volume of the lake which is a decent volume, several thousands, even millions of m3. Conventional machines used for mixing create turbulence (aerators, pumps). Turbulent mixing is only effective in a very small area around the mixer (a few meter radius is their range).

Blue-green algae blooming in a freshwater lake
Blue-green algae blooming in a freshwater lake

SolarBee long-distance solar powered water circulators do not require grid power source for their operation. Their operating principle is to create near-laminar flow, so they are able keep the water in motion in a huge area. Our largest SolarBee machine (SB10000v20) has a 14 hectare (140 000 m2) effective area for mixing the entire water volume within this range.

Installation of SolarBee improves the pace of the bioremediation process, self-purification processes happen at multiple speed. As a result, the freshwater body will be able to treat more pollution than before the installation of the SolarBee. Moreover, the lake can maintain its self-purification ability for a way longer term than before by providing a healthier environment for the micro and macro aquatic lifeforms. Since SolarBee keeps the entire water volume in continuous motion within its range, the machines can be used for hypolimnetic aeration in deep lakes, and also for blue-green algae control in lakes infected by Cyanobacteria.

SolarBee installation in progress - blue-green algae control
SolarBee in operation - blue-green algae control

Blue-green algae (Cyanobacteria) blooming cause bigger and bigger problems worldwide. Many species of Cyanobacteria are toxin-producers, so they are not just ecological but health risk as well. It is very hard to control Cyanobacteria in freshwater lakes due to their low nutrient requirements, and their ability to outpace other algae species. Unlike other algae, the blue-green algae are able to move vertically in the water column with one of their cell compartments called gas vesicle. During daylight they fill the vesicle with gas, and come to the top of the water column to photosynthesize, at night they release the gas from the vesicle, and sink down to lower areas where nutrient, and organic concentrations are higher in the water, and start heterotrophic metabolism. Since they have such an edge in the competition, they are able to outgrow other algal species, and become the major species in the water ecosystem. So far, the most successful weapon against blue-green algae is the continuous motion of the entire water body, which the SolarBee machines are designed for. Cyanobacteria do not tolerate moving water well, they lose their competitive edge, their life functions, as well as their metabolism become limited, and inhibited when the water is in continuous motion. After installing the sufficient number of SolarBee machines on the lake, blue-green algae control can be achieved in a few months, and can be maintained onwards.

Click here for more information on SolarBee’s freshwater applications!

SolarBee machines have an adjustable hose at the intake part which ends at the intake plate of the central cylinder. At the lower part of the cylinder, below the water surface, an impeller is rotating continuously with an RPM of 60/min generating an upward movement for the water. The water brought from the lower part of the water column enters the distribution dish, where it flows with a near-laminar flow radially at the top. The water layer leaving the dish travels a very decent distance since it has nearly laminar flow characteristic. The range of the machine is very high due to the nearly laminar flow operation, it is incomparable with conventional mixers operating with turbulent flow which dies in a few meters of distance. The flow generated by the rotating blade of the impeller is called direct flow. The direct flow means 2 water layers, one flowing towards the machine below the surface at the level where the intake hose’s end is located at, while the other water layer flows at the top away from the machine. The movement of the 2 layers induces an upward flow between the 2 layers within the machine’s range which is called induced flow. That is how the SolarBee keeps the total water volume in continuous motion. The machines are equipped with an onboard battery, where they store excess solar energy daytime. At night when there is no sunlight, the machine keeps running by consuming the energy stored in the battery, so SolarBee is designed to operate 24 hrs a day. When weather conditions do not allow 24 hrs operation, the machine stops to prevent the battery, and starts when sufficient solar power is given for operation.

Click here for more information on SolarBee’s freshwater applications!

Flow pattern - blue-green algae control setup
Flow pattern - entire water body circulation + hypolimnetic aeration
  • It establishes the efficient long-distance circulation without hurting or mixing up the sediment layer.
  • The direct flow ensures the top layer’s continuous enrichment with Dissolved Oxygen, which aids aerobic respiration, and the breakdown of organic pollution. The effect has an impact on the benthic processes as well with optimized microbial action at the sediment layer, providing less sediment production, and decreasing the existing sediment width.
  • Long-distance circulation boosts bioremediation processes, which run at multiple speed. Self-purification ability, and the sustainability of the ecological balance of the lake are also aided by SolarBee.
  • Continuous long-distance circulation provides blue-green algae control.
  • Solarbee also can be successfully applied against aquatic weed blooming.
  • Minimum 25-year life cycle for the machine.
  • Running on 100% renewable (solar) energy (zero energy cost), no grid power or cord is needed in the water.
  • extremely low (mostly zero) maintenance and service cost.
  • Improved water transparency (Secchi-depth).
  • Healthier fish with improved habitat.
  • Improved fish spawning, and better growth.
  • Significantly decreasing risk of fish kills.
  • The operation of a SolarBee machine is not dangerous for fish (see video), moreover, fish of the lake like to stay at the environment of the machine in high numbers (see video)
  • Anaerobic processes in the sediment layer significantly drop. As a result, less Hydrogen Sulfide, Ammonia, Methane, and Mercaptan compounds are about to form, the health risk of the above for the aquatic life significantly drops.
  • 24-hour operation provided by the onboard battery.
  • Aesthetical outlook

Click here for more information on SolarBee’s freshwater applications!