John Tucci, CEO, and Founder of EverBlue Lake Systems has been following the issues on Lake Hopatcong and was pleased to meet Mayor Michael Francis from Hopatcong last year when contacted about the solutions they might be able to provide.
After a long investigative process by the Mayor into EverBlue Lake Systems, and visits to several of the lakes under the company’s management, the Mayor and EverBlue developed a Grant Proposal in 2019 for DEP Funding.
To develop the full DEP proposal and to better understand the problems within the cove, EverBlue conducted a free assessment of Crescent Cove that focused on many different areas:
- Understanding the Lake as an entire ecosystem
- Studying the Lake data for the last 10 years
- Gained a full understanding of the water currents within the lake
- Performed depth profiling mapping within the Crescent Cove area
- Studying the HAB and other algae information first-hand as it was occurring in 2019
Read the two DEP Submissions:
Crescent Cove, if not the worst area in the lake, is among the top three, as you have very little wind action in the cove, and you have the natural currents of the lake bringing everything in such as trash, leaves, floating weeds and anything else floating on the lake. It becomes the natural dumping zone for the lake.
All that vegetative matter material that grows or is transported into Crescent Cove dies and goes to the bottom of the cove making it a very fertile compost pile that accelerates weeds and harmful algae blooms (HABs) growth. There is literally a sludge pile on the bottom of the cove that acts as compost, which then stirs up the nutrients helping to feed the HABs.
“This area is the perfect breeding ground for invasive milfoil weeds and blue/green algae”, stated John Tucci
Final Design for the 70 acres of Crescent Cove:
The model and design for Crescent Cove is a fine defused bubble aeration system and would be the first step to create an environment within the cove that would allow for the digestion and reduction of the fertilizers and nutrients that are driving the algae and weed growth in that area. As part of the plan, 38 diffusers and 31,000 feet of airline were installed in Crescent Cove.
Our design concept for Crescent Cove needed to be overly aggressive with higher than the normal points for aeration. The volume of air was greatly increased to nearly 2CFM per acre. These changes made to the standard model help with the amount of circulation that is needed to be generated to start returning positive results. The aeration system will be completely turning over the water 1.5 times a day, where it only happens twice a year in most lakes.
At the mouth of Crescent Cove, EverBlue designed an aeration curtain that may not fully stop the inflow of junk from the rest of the lake, but it will utilize the wind and current that blows toward the back of the cove to move the aeration effects further back into the cove.
John Tucci Stated, “This system is highly configurable, and we can add or move the aerators based upon our test results.”
“We are confident with our 15 years of experience that Crescent Cove is very savable, and with the Borough of Hopatcong very aggressively working on the sewers and watershed issues, all of these systems will greatly help the overall solution. The Borough is doing some of the very best things that can be done to solve this problem.” Stated John Tucci
Under this aggressive aeration plan, we will improve water quality. We will also see less Blue/Green algae and at the same time reduce the sediments on the bottom of the cove, which will help with the nuisance weed growth. It may take one to two years to fully see all of the positive changes and weed reduction.
In the opinion of EverBlue, the aeration system for Crescent Cove is here to stay well beyond the pilot projects, as Crescent Cove will always need this assistance in the future. The installed system is high grade and expected to last 15+ years with the right maintenance.
Testing in Crescent Cove:
EverBlue has already collected the first set of water samples and will be returning every two weeks to sample further. The testing will include seven water quality results and lake sediment results. The Mayor of Hopatcong will be receiving monthly reports, which we understand he plans to make public.
Second Phase of Project using BioBlast: (Still awaiting DEP Approval)
Once the aeration system has been studied for at least 90 days, the second phase would utilize BioBlast (good bacteria) that works hand in hand with the aeration system. The aeration system helps spread the BioBlast across the affected area. This will help compete with the Blue/Green algae and weeds for any remaining nutrients, thus starving the invasive vegetation.
If we can increase the overall fitness of the lake and it becomes healthier, the lake will have a better immune system and may well be able to fight off many of these challenges in the future on its own.
Bio Blast: Beneficial Bacteria are nature’s best cleaners.
“Our BioBlast Natural Bacteria Treatment™ is an innovative large-lake water cleaning solution. To meet the scale and volumes required to make a difference in large lakes, we have developed a process for “brewing” large quantities of treatment quickly and cost effectively right at the lake. The “brew” consists of beneficial bacteria and enzymes that consume the fertilizers fueling harmful algae blooms. This more natural, proprietary, the lake-friendly process has been shown to produce tens of thousands of gallons of treatment for the same cost of a few hundred pounds of pre-formulated products.”
According to Mayor Michael Francis, he will be approaching the DEP again for grant funding on this second phase of the project using the test results from the first 60 – 90 days. According to EverBlue the use of BioBlast will help speed up the process.
EverBlue Evaluation of Lake Hopatcong in General:
All of the Highlands’ Lakes are becoming more developed around the lakes and need both in-lake and watershed strategies to help them. The different strategies being taken around Lake Hopatcong currently are on the right track, as there is not just one magic bullet for everything.
EverBlue characterizes Lake Hopatcong as a lake that is at the tipping point between healthy and impaired, which means that not every year will be bad for Blue/Green Algae growth, while for the reasons listed above, Crescent Cove is going to have a bad year every year if nothing is done. Case in point, Crescent Cove will always be the first to have HABs and the last one to see them disappear in the fall.
John Tucci, CEO, and Founder of EverBlue Lake Systems made it clear that this aeration system could be easily scaled for the entire Lake Hopatcong if proved successful.
About EverBlue Lakes Systems:
EverBlue Lakes was selected for this project based on extensive due diligence on the part of the Borough of Hopatcong which conducted research over several months into viable in-lake solutions to HABs.
EverBlue Lakes has installed and manages more large lake aeration systems than any firm in the United States and over more than a decade has become the leader in natural, non-chemical solutions for lake restoration. EverBlue Lakes patented Lake Aeration Technology has been proven to deliver the benefits reported in the scientific literature that have confirmed that aeration/circulation, when done properly can prevent and inhibit the development of HABs. More than a decade of independent scientific assessment has confirmed the effectiveness of EverBlue Lakes aeration design model and technology.
“EverBlue Lakes maintains a fully staffed location within 90 minutes of Lake Hopatcong. We have the manpower and equipment to fully maintain and monitor the proposed Aeration System and successfully deploy the BioBlast Treatment for the duration of the project.” EverBlue acknowledges that this project was a true partnership with the Borough of Hopatcong as the DPW, Water Authority Works helped with multiple areas of the project as well as the local marinas that greatly helped launch the project.
Comments powered by CComment