Consultants from AES Europe Ltd have, for several years, been assisting clients who have issues with organic and inorganic siltation. In most cases, these clients have been managing the water for many years and are battling against the inevitable tide of siltation. In other cases, clients may have recently acquired (and therefore inherited) an ancient or grossly neglected water.
AES Europe Ltd strongly advocates approaches that prevent or reduce the siltation problem in the first place, rather than only attempting to deal with the problem once it is already established. Therefore, we recommend on all new lakes, with water inflows, the installation of silt traps and reed-bed filtration. We are experienced in the design, construction and planting of such facilities and will always find space to incorporate silt traps into both new and existing sites as required.
Silt traps offer the advantage of reducing or virtually eliminating inorganic silt from entering the lake via the inlet stream. Inorganic silt is much more difficult to deal with in situ than organic silts: Siltex will have no effects on inorganic silt and mechanical removal is the only option except, of course, prevention. Don’t forget, though, that inorganic siltation can also be caused by erosion, which we are also well placed to help you prevent, so do please see Erosion control and reduction.
Silt traps can be installed on most waterways and can usually fit into the existing footprint of the lake, pond or watercourse rather than take up any additional land. In many cases a series of silt traps can be installed, this adds additional silt holding capacity and reduces still further the amount of silt entering the main body of water.
Once installed, silt traps encourage both organic and inorganic silt to accumulate in relatively small, specific areas, where the removal is more easily carried out, thus vastly increasing the intervals between expensive de-silting of the main water body. Please be aware though that for silt traps to work efficiently they do need to be maintained and the silt removed as required.
With very rare exceptions (usually due to water quality concerns) AES Europe Ltd strongly recommends the use of Siltex as a general water conditioner and tool in the management of organic silt build-up. Whilst not a substitute for a mechanical de-silting in grossly neglected waters, Siltex gives useful benefits in varying degrees of silt depth reduction, whilst generally assisting in the processing of newly-accumulated organic detritus such as waterfowl faeces and deciduous leaf-litter.
Siltex helps to:
- Stimulate bacterial oxidation of organic waste
- Enrich the water overlying the problem silt with calcium, improving the conditions for detritivorous invertebrates
Siltex MAY help to:
- Flocculate suspended solids, including unicellular algae (but this will only be temporary) and colloidal clay particles
- Smother and thereby inhibit the growth of filamentous algae
Siltex is an entirely natural and safe product, which has not been chemically-synthesised in any way. We will help you to calculate the quantities required, advise on dosing regimes (including reducing the input and therefore, costs at the earliest possible stages). Also, whilst the application of Siltex is not a complicated task, it is extremely messy: we are well-and-truly accustomed to being covered head to toe in Siltex and so we are happy to apply the product if requested.
To illustrate our capabilities here are some previous projects completed by our consultants:
- Siltex applications on a Cornish lake to remove accumulate organic silt; this has been achieved across much of the lake where the original gravel is now visible
- Siltex application on a London lake to reduce silt depth and mitigate the effects of waterfowl waste and deposited bread; this lake had a suspected botulism outbreak prior to Siltex being applied
- A large silt trap created at The Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew to trap silt and stop it entering the main lake
- Filter beds in Wales ensure the stream water supply to a ram pump is maintained and does not get blocked with silt and debris