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The application of biotechnology in the restoration of Indian Lake, MN

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The restoration of Indian Lake in Wright County, Minnesota, is a demonstration project to remove excess nutrients in its watershed using biotechnology methods. The main functions of the biotechnology treatments are to improve water quality, reduce nutrients, reduce algae bloom, promote biodegradation of organic residue and sludge in the lake sediment, improve oxygenation, minimize eutrophication problems, transform nutrient load from flora into a fauna nutrient reservoir and improve transformation of pollutants into natural and beneficial food for higher life forms. Indian Lake is eutrophic lake with decreased transparency, an anoxic hypolimnion during the summer and has macrophyte problems. Methods used include the application of Bacta-pur® microbial culture and aeration. Monthly samples were collected to analyze water temperature, dissolved oxygen, chlorophyll-a, TSS, Secchi disk, turbidity, ammonium nitrogen, nitrates, total phosphorus and identification of biological parameters that include the occurrence and abundance of benthic organisms, phytoplankton and zooplankton. Paired samples t-tests were conducted to show statistical differences in water quality parameters before and after treatments of Bacta-pur® microbial culture. Over time, dissolved oxygen levels increased, ammonium nitrogen and nitrates decreased and after initial application of Bacta-pur® phosphorus levels decreased. The Carlson Trophic Index (TSI) is a quantitative approach to determine eutrophication within lake ecosystems and Indian Lake has indicated a decline in trophic state indices from 68.3 to 56.7 after the initial application of Bacta-pur®.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: October 1, 2007

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