Is enough oxygen getting to Iowa's lakes and ponds this year?
January 20, 2010

The Iowa DNR has noted that the very cold winter we've had this year -- including a series of powerful snowstorms and this week's dramatic ice storm -- appears to be starving many Iowa lakes and ponds of oxygen. While it's well-known that the solubility of dissolved oxygen rises as water temperatures fall, there has to be some source of dissolved oxygen in the water to begin with. The winter weather has covered lakes and ponds with ice, and there's been so much of it that aquatic plants aren't getting enough sunlight to create that oxygen, and there's no way for the wind and currents to sweep more oxygen into the water bodies as they normally would. As a result, DO levels are dropping to late-winter levels even though we probably have at least 6 to 9 weeks of winter weather left to go.

Wastewater focus: Dissolved oxygen is one of the key metrics used to determine the quality of wastewater effluent being returned to rivers and streams. We have long represented ATI's quality dissolved-oxygen monitors for measuring DO levels in treated wastewater, and we've just received the excellent news that Stamford Scientific's PTFE-coated aeration diffusers have been approved for patent protection. The PTFE-coated diffusers represent one of the easiest, most trouble-free methods of adding oxygen to wastewater at a minimum of maintenance cost and effort.

January 2010
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last revised January 2010