Algae Stink No Health Risk In Oso Reservoir

In June of 2008 the Santa Margarita Water District replaced a bubbler aeration system with four SolarBees on Oso Reservoir in Mission Viejo Califorina. The OC Register reported on November 2, 2009 that a “foul odor sniffed by residents of Mission Viejo and Rancho Santa Margarita since Wednesday”… “The stench is the result of an algae bloom in the Upper Oso Reservoir sparked by Wednesday’s cold weather and high winds, said Dan Ferons, chief engineer for the water district.”

OSO Bloom

Dead fish line the shore of the the Upper Oso Reservoir - LEONARD ORTIZ, THE ORANGE COUNTY

The water district has taken several steps to bring oxygen levels back to normal and eliminate the odor. Mechanical aeration equipment has been used since Friday to pump air to the bottom of the reservoir. Four solar-powered pumps known as SolarBees have continued to aerate the water.

On Saturday, the water district started pumping fresh water into the lake at the rate of 200 gallons per minute; today, the rate was increased to 1,500 gallons per minute. Two boats were being used today to generate waves in order to spur oxygen intake at the surface. An external pump was also being used today to aerate the water. The water district is also considering use of a mechanical device to pump ozone, whose molecules include three atoms of oxygen, into the lake.

For more information visit the orginal articles in the OC Register.

Algae stink no health risk for south O.C., official says

New solar technology keeps water clean

2 Comments

Filed under Algae Bloom, Performance, Solarbees, Water Quality

2 responses to “Algae Stink No Health Risk In Oso Reservoir

  1. Joel Bleth

    Hello, Devil Lake stakeholders.

    As president of SolarBee, Inc. I have been meaning to send you a note from time time to time. This is the first one, and it will be a short one on Lake Oso problems.

    Basically, in a nutshell, you should know that Lake Oso, mentioned above, is not a “lake” in the regular sense of the word. Since 2008, instead of being supplied with fresh water as it was for years, Lake Oso now serves as a large “wastewater reuse pond” for irrigation. It now receives and discharges about 5-8 mgd of treated wastewater per day, from 2 plants, typically at < 10 mg/l of Carbon BOD, < 10 mg/l of Nitrogen, < 1 mg/l of Phosphorus.

    Depending on the season and lake elevation, this body of treated wastewater can range from over 100 surface acres and 65 ft deep, to 35 acres and 30 ft deep, or anywhere in-between.

    For SolarBee, Inc. this is a new, fascinating and important project, because wastewater is virtually never stored in a large and deep reservoir such as Lake Oso. In these reservoirs there can be huge problems with low oxygen throughout most of the water column, the cost-prohibitive ongoing waste of grid energy if aeration alone is relied on to solve the problems, algae bloom issues due to high nutrients as with all wastewater ponds, and the production of sulfur-based odorous compounds at the sediment which can escape at turnover.

    The use of Lake Oso to receive and discharge treated wastewater, unique today, may become commonplace in the future. In California, a US leader in water resuse, only about 15% of water is being reused, and that figure needs to rise dramatically if we hope to have enough water to go around in the future. And an important part of the solution will be the knowledge to deal with water quality problems in large deep wastewater reservoirs such as Lake Oso. That's why SolarBee machines are in Lake Oso. We have had success in hundreds of "normal" shallower wastewater ponds, and have a good chance of solving the problems in Lake Oso. In 2009, despite the November odor event, there were far less water quality problems than in 2008. And in 2010, I think even more progress can be made.

    In short, the takeaway point for your group is that if you ever decide that Devil's Lake water quality needs improving, there is one company in the US that is fulltime tackling the toughest reservoir problems in the country.

    Thanks for your interest and for reading this!

    Joel Bleth, President, SolarBee, Inc.

  2. Pingback: AQMD Issues Violation To Local Water District « No SolarBees

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