Wetlands Restoration

Ferrate Treatment is effectively producing water with very low concentrations of phosphorus, ammonia and metals. Ferrate Treatment can remove phosphorus to below the laboratory minimum detection limit of 13 ppb.  Ferrate can also remove things like nitrogen, mercury, arsenic and lead.  This was all demonstrated at Lake Apopka in Central Florida.  See below:

Lake Apopka Demonstration Project

Background – How Lake Apopka Died

At 48.12 square miles, Lake Apopka is the third largest lake in the state of Florida. It is located 15 miles (24 km) northwest of Orlando. Fed by a natural spring, rainfall and storm water runoff, water from Lake Apopka flows throughout Florida and eventually into the St. Johns River.

 

Lake Apopka has a history of more than 100 years of human alteration ranging from canals to levees to draining 20,000 acres (80 km²) of shallow marsh for farming. For many years, the discharge of fertilizers and pesticides into the lake decimated game fish populations by created chronic algal blooms that depleted dissolved oxygen and blocked sunlight necessary to sustain plant life along the lake bottom. After several decades, this aquatic abuse caused the sandy lake bottom to be covered by a deep layer of black muck.

 

 

Worse yet, in July 1980, the Tower Chemical Company (TCC), a local pesticide manufacturer, caused significant amounts of Dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE), a DDT byproduct and known endocrine disruptor, along with other toxic chemicals to spill into Lake Apopka. In December 1980, the US Environmental Protection Agency shut down TCC’s operations and began an investigation. Soon after, the EPA decommissioned the site and designated it as a Superfund clean-up site. DDE has resulted in significant health problems in much of the lake’s wildlife population, and has caused infertility and other sexual disorders in several species, including alligators. In 1996, Governor Lawton Chiles signed the Lake Apopka Restoration Act that provided funding to purchase the farmland responsible for agricultural run-offs that were compounding Lake Apopka’s downward spiral.

 

 

 

Restoring the Lake – A Novel Treatment Process

In 2013, Clean to Green, WesPac Water, and Ferrate Treatment Technologies, LLC came together to create a highly effective treatment process based on Ferrate which removes phosphorus and ammonia nutrients from lake water and allows dredge spoils to be used as feedstock in fertilizer production for beneficial reuse. See a pictorial overview of the process below:

Muck and Peat Dredged From The Lake

Ferrate Treated Water

The lake bottom is dredged (see below) to remove the mucky sediments. These sediments prevent submerged plants from growing, prevent healthy fish habitat, make recreational boating difficult, and are re-suspended in the lake water during windy events.

The Dredge

The solids are separated and collected (see below). This material is very nutrient rich and therefore can be sold to fertilizer companies and agricultural users.

Rotary Screen Separator

Rotary Screen Separator

Course Dredge Solids

The water fraction from the mucky sediments is then treated with Ferrate (see Ferrator® below).

Fe300 Ferrator Mobile Trailer

Fe300 Ferrator Mobile Trailer

The Ferrate treated water first goes through an aerator (see picture below), which aids in ammonia removal.

Ammonia Removal Aerator

The water is then pH adjusted with ferric chloride, which augments Ferrate with settling and removal of the contaminants, including phosphorus (see settling example below).

Treated Water – Clarification

The treated, clean water is then pumped back into the lake (see picture below).

Return Water to Lake

Lake Treatment Water Quality Data

Ferrate Treatment is effectively producing water with very low concentrations of phosphorus, ammonia and metals. The phosphorus criterion for Lake Apopka is 55 parts per billion (ppb). The raw dredge return water typically has a phosphorus concentration over 1000 ppb. As shown on the table of water quality treatment results below, Ferrate Treatment removed the phosphorus to below the laboratory minimum detection limit of 13 ppb. Field-testing of ammonia has typically found no detection of unionized ammonia (the toxic form). Over 95% of the nitrogen was removed (another nutrient that can cause harm to the lake’s ecology). And, mercury, arsenic and lead were reduced to below the laboratory minimum detection limit, as well as.

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