King Fahd’s Fountain

We’re kicking off the month of October with power, creativity and uniqueness by showcasing the world’s most powerful fountain of its kind: King Fahad’s Fountain. This world-record setting fountain is located in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and is named after the man who donated the fountain back in 1980s.

The world-setting fountain is capable, on calm days, to propel water into the air up to a height of 1024 feet at an incredible 233 miles per hour! To accomplish this unique feat, the fountain relies on 3 high-powered pumps which draw their water from the Red Sea. Because the water is salty, the pump is maintained daily and has functioned free or major issues since 1985.

The pump works by drawing water into a special chamber which is regularly dried and annually coated with an anti-fouling paint used to prevent organic buildup. After the water is collected in the chamber it is forced through several screens which filter out particles and dirt. After that, the water is shot straight up into the sky.

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Flooding in Lake Okeechobee

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One of the shallowest lakes in Florida, and one of the largest lakes in the US, Lake Okeechobee is also one of the most polluted. Runoff from nearby farmland, golf courses, septic systems and continuing problems with the unkempt dam system for a “muck” on the bottom of the lake that consists of arsenic, pesticides and other chemicals. The lake has already permeated into nearby estuaries, feeding the growth of harmful algae and bacteria that can kill oysters, hurt manatees, and damage freshwater organisms and seagrass. 

 

Normal water levels are around 9 feet on average, but this season, the water levels are nearing 15.5 feet. This is dangerous because flooding could cause the pollution to continue spreading into other water systems and into the neighboring community. If the water levels continue to rise, this could mean bad news for folks living on and near the lake. 

 

Lake Okeechobee is a popular site for tourists; and with the mud-brown water, and green algae growing a muck – the visitors aren’t coming like they used to.

 

Officials say there just isn’t enough government funding to keep up with the needs of the lake. The pollution is getting out of hand and the solution a delicate science. 

 

In order to keep this lake from running over, we’ll just have to hope the rain stops. Keeping the water levels from rising is a top priority of Florida officials. Problem is, Wildlife protection funding has been slashed, and so has the algae prevention funding. The scales are tipping in favor of Lake Okeechobee bursting. We can just hope that there’s a lesson learned in this about environmental responsibility

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Aeration Systems

Lakes or ponds with four feet of water or more can benefit immensely from aeration systems. Aeration systems regulate the levels of dissolved oxygen which is the single most important indicator for the health and water quality of your lake.

Oxygen levels are dependent on the physical, chemical, and biochemical activities present in your lake or pond. The oxygen is naturally present and is produced by aquatic plants and other animals through photosynthesis

When oxygen levels become unstable massive fish kills can occur, along with other problems. The best way to prevent this is by adding oxygen to your lake through an aeration system. Aeration systems can also reduce the overproduction of specific nutrients that promote algae growth, as well as reducing buildup of muck.

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Hydrologic Cycle

Evaporation, condensation, precipitation, infiltration and percolation – repeat. This is called the hydrologic cycle and it is responsible for all our drinking water. Pond water is known in a general sense as fresh water and is a necessary resource for humans and other land dwelling organisms.

Interestingly enough, only about one percent of the world’s water is safe for human consumption. Fresh water is naturally occurring, and is found in ice caps, icebergs, ponds, lakes and rivers. So what make freshwater ‘fresh?’ Generally speaking, fresh water has to have a low concentration of dissolved solids such as sodium.

Fresh water is found in ponds, lakes and rivers. These pockets of freshwater can range from only a few square meters to thousands or more in size. An interesting fact about ponds is that many are seasonal and only last a few months. Because ponds and lakes are isolated, their species diversity is limited and can be divided into different zones which are categorized by depth and distance from the shoreline.

The source of virtually all fresh water is from rain, mist and or snow – part of the hydrologic cycle. Depending on the area of the rain fall, the water can have higher concentrations of sulfur and nitrogen which can cause acid rain.

Either way, next time you see a lake or pond, or drink a cold glass of water. Remember, it is truly an important resource.

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Lake Ecology

Ponds and lakes are more than just holes of water in the ground, they are a compilation of organic and inorganic parts which build a greater whole. These these larger systems are know as ecosystems and are essential to sustaining a naturally healthy pond or lake.

Ecosystems can be broken down into groups of parts based on their specific roles. Producers are responsible for creating nourishment which the consumer group feeds upon. Without these producers, the food chain would be incomplete and all life would perish.

The consumer group consists of three different types of consumers: primary, secondary, and tertiary. The primary consumers include algae, zooplankton, bacteria and detritus. Next in the food chain are secondary consumers, consisting of planktivorous fish, predaceous invertebrates, bottom dwelling organisms, sunfish and perch. The third and final group of consumers are tertiary consumers. These organisms include other carnivorous animals and larger fish.

Finally, all these consumers leave remains and residue which is the food for the final group in our lake ecosystem: the decomposers. This category is made of bacteria, fungi and microorganisms which break down any decaying or organic matter in the water.

It is important to make sure that any treatment of your pond or lake be made safely and responsibly, assuring the protection of all organisms in an ecosystem.

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Lake Hillier

Oftentimes on this blog I write about water clarification and getting the clearest water possible (usually with the help of an experienced professional) but Lake Hillier in Australia is such an amazing hue of pink I would never suggest this.

Found on Middle Island, this huge lake is bubble gum pink! This lake is unique because people aren’t quite sure how Hillier Lake got its shocking pink color. Much speculation surrounds organisms found in the lake that might produce a pink dye called Dunaliella salina and Halobacteria. 

The amazing thing about this lake is that the color is permanent, even if you take a sample. 

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Lake Ecosystems

Lake ecosystems are unique because they have biotic, or living plants, animals, and micro-organisms as well as abiotic, nonliving, physical and chemical interactions. These biotic and abiotic interactions are an important part of a healthy lake ecosystem and is integral to the daily functions of your lake. 

Lake ecosystems are also considered lentic, which refers to relatively still or standing waters. Lentic waters can be anything from a small pond or lake to large wetlands. If the entire body of water is exposed to light at the bottom is is considered a lentic pool or pond, while lentic ponds do not get full light exposure. 

The delicate chemistry or your pond or lake is essential to the health of water organisms are this affects oxygen levels. Large fish kills are often the result of some sort of imbalance and should be handled by a professional.

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