Bubbles for Change:
In an effort to reduce muck in the Indian River Lagoon, an experimental aeration system was installed in Redwood Canal for a one year study (2017 to 2018) that was conducted by Dr. John Trefry and Dr. Austin Fox from the Florida Institute of Technology. The study was co-sponsored and funded by Florida Tech, Satellite Beach, and Allied Group USA, the company who developed the aeration system used in the 100 by 1,000-foot canal.
Aeration in water bodies such as lakes is not a new idea but such a system has never been attempted before at scale within the Lagoon. Aerators are simple devices that are meant to increase the amount of dissolved oxygen content of water. This is done by a shore positioned air compressor that feeds air down to a bottom mounted air diffuser. This diffuser blows out bubbles that rise to the surface. The rising air bubbles cause water near the bottom to also rise, pulling this colder water up to the surface. When this cold water reaches the surface it spreads out but then eventually sinks again, gaining oxygen from contact with the atmosphere in the process.
Redwood canal served as the testbed for the aerators and Anderson Canal the control. Results of the test are not yet published but when the team’s report is finalized it will be sent to the Indian River Lagoon National Estuaries Program and the City.