Category Archives: Manufacturer Information

Information Provided by SolarBees in support of their product.

New Solarbee White Paper Published

Over the past couple of years, we have been communicating with Joel Bleth, President of Solarbee, Inc.  He recently contacted us at the Devils Lake Navigator because he wanted us know they have updated a short paper “Common Sense Suggestions for Lake Restoration Projects” that he thought could useful to the stakeholders of Devils Lake.

You can read it online, by following the above link or download a pdf version if you prefer.  Follows is a brief excerpt from the paper to get you started..

A lake restoration project should be a rewarding experience, ultimately creating community pride and value for a job well done when the lake’s water quality clears up. Lake stakeholders often spend thousands of man-hours over several years discussing the lake’s water quality problems and analyzing possible solutions. One or more studies by lake experts may be commissioned, followed by years of arduous efforts to raise money – sometimes millions of dollars – to restore the lake. But, all too often, after the “solution” is implemented the water quality is as poor as ever or else worse. Consequently, many lake groups are facing the same water quality problems today that they worked on years ago, despite spending a lot of time and money in the interim.

This relatively short paper offers five common-sense suggestions to help lake stakeholders ensure that their lake restoration project is successful the first time. Most of the discussion centers around harmful blue-green (cyanobacteria) algae blooms (HABs) as opposed to weed (macrophyte) problems because weeds, while a nuisance, won’t kill you like blue-green algae blooms can.

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SolarBees Inc Comment on Oso Reservoir

We recently received a comment from Joel Bleth, President of SolarBees, Inc that provided additional information related to recent events at Oso Reservoir. Since comments are not displayed as promently as posts we have created this post which contains Mr. Bleth’s comments provided on November 03, 2009 related to the post entitled “Algae Stink No Health Risk In Oso Reservoir“.

Joel Bleth Says:

November 9, 2009 at 2:41 pm e

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.

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Detailed SolarBee Presentation

SolarBee® made a presentation entitled “Potential Benefits of Solar-powered Circulation for Lake Cochituate, with an Emphasis on Controlling Eurasian Watermilfoil” which was created by Christopher F. Knud-Hansen, Ph.D., CLM Chief Limnologist for SolarBee, Inc.

This presentation  is available at

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SolarBees Story

You can find SolarBees website at and according to that website;

“SolarBee, Inc., is a world leader in improving reservoir water quality. SolarBee has pioneered the patented near-laminar radial flow technology that provides high-flow, long-distance circulation (LDC) in water reservoirs. Today SolarBee is using LDC to solve water quality problems in fresh water lakes and reservoirs, potable water tanks and reservoirs, wastewater ponds and lagoons, and estuarine environments in over 14 countries around the globe – providing significant energy savings while relying on solar power and reducing the need for toxic chemicals. SolarBee is truly “Circulating the World’s Water.”

Pump Systems, Inc. (PSI) designed, built and installed its first solar powered mixer in Dickinson, ND, in the summer of 1998. It was installed into a 20-acre municipal wastewater polishing pond which had a long history of toxicity associated with ammonia, odor, and stratification problems.   The company enjoyed success with installation in wastewater treatment plants and branched out into other areas.  According to the company’s website the SolarBee has many current applications:

  • Freshwater Lakes
  • Drinking Water Reservoirs
  • Stormwater Detention Ponds
  • Parks & Golf Course Ponds
  • High Value Property Areas
  • Sport Fishing Lakes
  • Fish Hatchery
  • Culture Ponds
  • Estuaries
  • Potable Water Tanks
  • Potable Water Reservoirs
  • Wastewater Ponds/Lagoons
  • Effluent Storage Ponds
  • Sludge Storage Basins
  • Industrial Waste Ponds
  • Power Plant Cooling Lakes
  • Leachate Ponds

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SolarBees Freshwater Application

According to the company “The SolarBee® incorporates patented near-laminar radial flow technology that provides long-distance circulation™ (LDC) to improve water quality in freshwater lakes, ponds, & reservoirs. Energy saving rebates may be available for displacing grid power aeration or mixing.”



SolarBees freshwater application further is described at the company website at

According to the company the benefits of SolarBee’s Long-Distance Circulation are;

  • Prevent & control harmful blue-green algae blooms
  • Reduce taste and odor problems in drinking water
  • Reduce public health issues due to cyanotoxins
  • Improve aesthetics, water clarity and biodiversity
  • Improve dissolved oxygen (DO) and pH levels
  • Prevent Mn, Fe, H2S and methyl mercury from bottom waters
  • Reduce invasive aquatic weed growth
  • Improve fish habitats and prevent fish kills
  • Economical for lakes and reservoirs of any size
  • Whole or partial lake treatment
  • Near-laminar flow impacts up to 35 surface acres (14 hectares) per unit
  • Can be deployed to treat the epilimnion and/or hypolimnion
  • Day and night operation using solar energy, requires minimal maintenance and no infrastructure changes

The basis of the companies claims are contained in the following on-line literature;

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