Summary

In response to water quality complaints concerning drinking water from Lake Houston, the City of Houston decided to embark upon a project to install 20 laminar flow water circulators to improve water quality.  The low-cost, solar-powered, energy-efficient circulators allowed the lower waters to remain oxygenated and promoted the health of the Lake’s natural ecosystem, while reducing energy and chemical treatment costs.

What is it?

Lake Houston is an 11,000 acre water body used by the City of Houston as a drinking water source for over 2 million residents.  Generally the lake has good water quality, however blue-green algal proliferation and deficient oxygen at lower depths has caused significant taste and odour issues in the drinking water.

How does it work?

A Laminar flow hypolimnetic circulator (Solar Bee) is a floating solar-powered reservoir circulator.  It creates a 4-6 foot diameter column of rising water below the machine and spreads this water gently across the top of the reservoir in a long distance flow pattern, affecting up to 35 surface acres.  Depending on the model, the Solar Bee is 10 - 17 feet in diameter with flow rates between 1,250 - 10,000 gallons per minute.

Next steps

Additional projects with Texas Parks to expand biological shifts and other drinking water sources for human consumption.

Application

Circulation of stagnant water bodies can be immediately beneficial to local ecosystems used as local drinking water sources.  Solar Bees are very cost effective and can be modified for use in a wide range of varying ecosystems.

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