Control of Invasive Species in Lake Tahoe

Invasive species prevention in the Tahoe Keys canals

Our customer, The Tahoe Keys Owners Association (TKPOA) identified a clear goal to reduce the bio volume of invasive species in the Tahoe Keys Canals. This goal led them to work with experts in the field to identify tailored solutions, of which a bubble curtain was included as part of the analysis. The addition of bubble curtains to fight the invasive species was part of a complete strategy, including other activities such as boat backup stations for boats entering the canal (helps to dislodge algae or marine plants stuck to the boat), addition of oxygen diffusers to help decrease nutrient loads in the water, a bubble curtain by Bubble Tubing® to deflect debris that are collected by a collector. An awareness campaign to publicize the challenges of invasive species in the canals has also been implemented through newsletters and social media posts with the help of a second association called: League to save Lake Tahoe- Keep Tahoe Blue

 

How does a bubble curtain work?

The use of Bubble Tubing® immersed in water creates a curtain of micro-bubbles which, rising to the surface, expand and act as a barrier. A bubble curtain can prevent floating debris from entering a channel such as floating algae or plastic debris. Strategically positioned, the bubble curtain creates a current that will push algae and debris to a collecting area. The bubble curtain allows the passage of boats and marine animals while keeping the algae debris in the desired area as illustrated in the image below.

The Bubble Tubing® is a linear air diffuser for aeration, de-icing and bubble curtains. It is designed and manufactured in Canada to our specifications.

Fine bubble diffusers such as our Bubble Tubing® produce many tiny air bubbles (less than 1 mm in diameter). Tiny bubbles rise steadily from the floor of a wastewater treatment basin or the bottom of waterways and canals, ponds, lakes or lagoons. These bubbles provide substantial and efficient mass transfer of oxygen into the water.

Compressed air enters the tubing, creating an inner pressure. It is released through perforations thanks to the precision holes found along both sides of the entire length of tubing. The ensuing micro-bubbles are efficient in preventing clogging and fouling (typically found in porous diffusers), of the entire length of tubing. They form a bubble curtain of uniformed and evenly dispersed fine bubbles.

The Tahoe Keys curtain was installed as a V shape to allow a better deflection of debris.

Credit: TKPOA

 

Efficacy of the bubble curtain

During the summer of 2020, the bubble curtain was in operation for a total of 131 days. In addition to providing oxygen to the canals where the bubble curtain was installed, a total of 95 cubic feet of organic matter were collected over the period the system was in operation which means that all this quantity was prevented from entering the Tahoe Keys canal. The Bubble Tubing® helped invasive species from entering and spreading.

A year later, a second curtain was sold to TKPOA to be installed on another location. The results identified in this case study does not include this second curtain.

You have a Bubble curtain project in progress? Contact us, it will be our pleasure to help you in the development of your project.

*Full report available upon demand*

Owners’ association TKPOA (Tahoe Keys Property Owners Association) website : https://tkpoa.com/

League to Save Lake Tahoe – Keep Tahoe Blue. Website : https://www.keeptahoeblue.org/