Skip to content Skip to main navigation

Lifestyle

One great brand after the next

Solarbees for Lake Burley Griffin?

johnboy 8 June 2011 27

The Canberra Times has a story on plans to install six Solarbees in Lake Burley Griffin to combat the dreaded Blue Green Algae.

If you’re wondering what’s involved with these solar powered water circulators the company’s website has an excellent video which we’ve posted above for your edification.

They make a compelling argument.

screenshot


What's Your Opinion?


Please login to post your comments, or connect with
27 Responses to Solarbees for Lake Burley Griffin?
Filter
Order
taxmoneydownthegurgler taxmoneydownthegurgler 11:59 am 15 Jul 11

Yes, these solar bees are obviously a truly wonderous device, how could one not believe the claims in their website or even better, that wholesome source of undisputable facts and data..youtube!
So when my friends farm dam has a BGA problem, the solution is just give it a bit of a stir and problem solved??
There is a basic scientific fundamental that many are overlooking, though some have got it right…there is too much nutrient in the water feeding the algae.
And if one of these particular nutrients happens to be the food source for toxic blue green algae…aka phosphorus…then our lovely lake will produce a fine crop of toxic algae! And no amount of stirring is gunna make it go away. Interesting that toxic algae has been detected in the cooler months (which contradicts one post)….maybe no one told those particular algae that they weren’t allowed out in the cold??
But…the “powers that try’ need a solution..and fast…appease us whinging public first, second …actually try and fix the problem.
Those shiny looking and extremely technical looking floating devices resplendent with powerful solar panels (no CO2 from these puppies, gotta be good) look like the trick…..trick is the key word here..
For goodness sakes, please someone in the appropriate department address the real problem…treat the water or stop the algae food from getting in there. Draining it will work too…but wheres the water coming from to fill it again? The river??!

Deref Deref 7:14 am 14 Jun 11

Watson said :

p1 said :

So we need to open the lake to powered submersible water craft?

Recreational submarines. Cool!

😀

Although if you saw the stinking pea-green soup pouring out of the floodgates when they opened Scrivener Dam, you’d have to say that visibility might leave something to be desired.

Watson Watson 11:32 am 10 Jun 11

p1 said :

So we need to open the lake to powered submersible water craft?

Recreational submarines. Cool!

blowers blowers 11:29 am 10 Jun 11

Are CANTURF helping to pay the cost of the installation? Seems only fair considering the run off from the turf farms is a significant component

p1 p1 10:46 am 10 Jun 11

Keijidosha said :

I’d argue that not much has been done. Queanbeyan’s WTP flushes turds into the Molonglo river at the mere thought of rain, stormwater from Fyshwick (industrial) and Pialligo (nurseries) is discharged directly into the same river, and last time I checked there was a whopping great turf farm on the top end of Jerrabomberra wetland. Possibly one of the least condusive environments to algae prevention!

I believe that a lot could be achieved by establishing wetland barriers to naturally filter the water before it enters the main channel. This has worked in other areas of Australia and there is no reason it couldn’t work here.

I was trying to be positive when I said “a lot”. As you point out, what has been done is a tiny drop in the bucket when compared to what could be done quite quickly. As usual I suspect the reasons that changes have not been made to the inputs you list include lack of political will, lack of funding, and a disconnect between the various authorities with the power to change things.

Deref said :

The last thing we need on the lake is the aquatic equivalent of white Commodores with doof machines.

So we need to open the lake to powered submersible water craft?

Deref Deref 7:25 am 10 Jun 11

Keijidosha said :

Besides, if the purpose of this device is to agitate the water, why not open the lake up to powered watercraft. You achieve the same result and provide additional public ammenity. Win/win.

You’re kidding, right?

These devices mix water from the bottom to the top. All speedboats do is agitate the top few centimetres, as well as being incredibly noisy. The last thing we need on the lake is the aquatic equivalent of white Commodores with doof machines.

Keijidosha Keijidosha 4:06 pm 09 Jun 11

p1 said :

Keijidosha said :

Why not cure the source of the problem (high nutrient loads) rather than try to treat the symptoms?

A lot has been done over the years to try exactly that, but you can only try so hard to convince people that they don’t need to fertilise their laws. People like nice green golf courses, European trees drop lots of leaves at once, and no one is really interested in building a water treatment plant at at the creeks leading into the lake.

I’d argue that not much has been done. Queanbeyan’s WTP flushes turds into the Molonglo river at the mere thought of rain, stormwater from Fyshwick (industrial) and Pialligo (nurseries) is discharged directly into the same river, and last time I checked there was a whopping great turf farm on the top end of Jerrabomberra wetland. Possibly one of the least condusive environments to algae prevention!

I believe that a lot could be achieved by establishing wetland barriers to naturally filter the water before it enters the main channel. This has worked in other areas of Australia and there is no reason it couldn’t work here.

Watson Watson 3:26 pm 09 Jun 11

kayak1 said :

Where is the evidence that stratification is the problem?? Did the National Capital Authority take temperature readings at various levels throughtout the Lake before and during the recent blooms? I dont think so.
Generally stratification is a problem in lakes or dams that are at least 30 feet deep and virtually no parts of Lake Burley Griffin are that deep. If stratification was the problem then the blooms would be worst in the western end of the lake, but the exact opposite is the case.
The recent problem blooms commenced soon after work commenced to create the marina area at the Kingston foreshore – sediment and nutrients were disturbed and the abatement works to ‘contain’ the spread never worked – just look at the satelite picture of the area in google maps to see the result – a massive bloom in the area marina spread throughtout the lake.
As stated in an early response – look at the sources of the problem rather than try to treat the symtoms with a dubious solution.

A Google turned up some references to trials in NSW dams, but I could not find any reports on the results of these trials.

I would like to see a thorough investigation in the run-off problem. But knowing how slow the government machine works, it would take years before they can make a difference. So if this works, I think it’s a good short term solution that can be implemented straight away.

Captain RAAF Captain RAAF 11:41 am 09 Jun 11

p1 said :

Thoroughly Smashed said :

p1 said :

What we need in genetically engineered carp that eat algae….

…and other carp.

…and then themselves?

Let me be the first to welcome our future genetically engineered carp eating carp, overlords!

fgzk fgzk 11:37 am 09 Jun 11

Thoroughly Smashed said :

p1 said :

What we need in genetically engineered carp that eat algae….

…and other carp.

No need for genetic engineering.

You have to deal with nutrient run off first. Its farm dam 101.

p1 p1 9:58 am 09 Jun 11

kayak1 said :

Where is the evidence that stratification is the problem?? Did the National Capital Authority take temperature readings at various levels throughtout the Lake before and during the recent blooms? I dont think so.

I don’t know if stratification specifically is a cause of algal blooms. Probably not, since most of these sorts of algae grown near the surface, and stratification is by definition layers within the water body and therefore not on the surface.

I do however know the algal blooms are related to water temperature. I know that the authorities have certainly done extensive measurements of water temperature in the lake. It seems to me pretty simple that if the surface water is at the temperature where a algal bloom is likely, then bringing up some colder water from the bottom and mixing it in might well change those conditions.

You do raise a very good point about the amount of sediment that various construction projects are dumping in the lake at the moment. I think it is terrible that they can’t seem to contain the runnoff a little better.

kayak1 kayak1 8:19 am 09 Jun 11

Where is the evidence that stratification is the problem?? Did the National Capital Authority take temperature readings at various levels throughtout the Lake before and during the recent blooms? I dont think so.
Generally stratification is a problem in lakes or dams that are at least 30 feet deep and virtually no parts of Lake Burley Griffin are that deep. If stratification was the problem then the blooms would be worst in the western end of the lake, but the exact opposite is the case.
The recent problem blooms commenced soon after work commenced to create the marina area at the Kingston foreshore – sediment and nutrients were disturbed and the abatement works to ‘contain’ the spread never worked – just look at the satelite picture of the area in google maps to see the result – a massive bloom in the area marina spread throughtout the lake.
As stated in an early response – look at the sources of the problem rather than try to treat the symtoms with a dubious solution.

Cheap Cheap 8:11 pm 08 Jun 11

Why not simply chlorinate the lake?

Watson Watson 2:52 pm 08 Jun 11

p1 said :

Thumper said :

While it would be more effective to treat the source of the problem, this seems to be a pretty good step in the right direction regardless.

I think the argument could be made that stratification within the water body IS on of the problems (it isn’t a symptom, unless you are out there measuring the temperature at varied depths on a regular basis). So this is treating the problem….

It’s sounding better and better all the time!

Holden Caulfield Holden Caulfield 2:49 pm 08 Jun 11

If only they were installed before the Feed-In Tariff was canned.

p1 p1 2:18 pm 08 Jun 11

Thumper said :

While it would be more effective to treat the source of the problem, this seems to be a pretty good step in the right direction regardless.

I think the argument could be made that stratification within the water body IS on of the problems (it isn’t a symptom, unless you are out there measuring the temperature at varied depths on a regular basis). So this is treating the problem….

p1 p1 2:16 pm 08 Jun 11

Thoroughly Smashed said :

p1 said :

What we need in genetically engineered carp that eat algae….

…and other carp.

…and then themselves?

Thumper Thumper 1:39 pm 08 Jun 11

While it would be more effective to treat the source of the problem, this seems to be a pretty good step in the right direction regardless.

Thoroughly Smashed Thoroughly Smashed 1:21 pm 08 Jun 11

p1 said :

What we need in genetically engineered carp that eat algae….

…and other carp.

chewy14 chewy14 12:36 pm 08 Jun 11

Watson said :

Keijidosha said :

Why not cure the source of the problem (high nutrient loads) rather than try to treat the symptoms?

Besides, if the purpose of this device is to agitate the water, why not open the lake up to powered watercraft. You achieve the same result and provide additional public ammenity. Win/win.

It’s too technical for me, but: “The SolarBee® has an adjustable intake hose that creates long-distance circulation either within the epilimnion or down into the hypolimnion, depending on lake management objectives.” That sounds like quite a specific strategy that does a bit more than just agitate the water any old way. Not to mention the big difference between this and powered watercraft: the noise level.

I think it looks great! And while I agree that it would be more effective to treat the source of the problem, I have little confidence that they would be able to identify and reduce all the nutrient run-off sources within an acceptable time frame. I want to be able to swim in that lake and I want it now! Well, maybe not now, it’s bloody cold out there. But if they could trial it this summer, that would be fantastic.

Yes,
your powered watercraft isn’t quite the same as this equipment.
Basically they’re big destratifiers.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Destratification

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Top
Copyright © 2019 Region Group Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.
the-riotact.com | aboutregional.com.au | b2bmagazine.com.au | thisiscanberra.com

Search across the site