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BioFilter / BioReactor

Most of the work of algae management is actually nutrient management. The logical first step to reducing lake nutrients is to prevent nutrients from entering the water. 


Sometimes prevention works. Reducing nutrients from entering the lake reduces algae. Other times prevention doesn’t work because the nutrients feeding the algae are coming from inside the lake. This “nutrient load” is mostly located in the lake bottom sediment. 


Years of chemical treatment kill the tiny creatures that normally live on the lake bottom. These creatures clean the water by eating the nutrients. Without them both sediment & nutrients accumulate. When nutrients climb to a certain level, the lake enters a state of repeated algae blooms. Then prevention &/or monthly chemical treatment isn’t enough to stop algae blooms.


The Beautiful Ponds solution is to install a home for trillions of tiny microbes that will start cleaning the water again. This home is called a BioFilter. It sits on the lake bottom completely out of sight. In simple terms, it works like this:

  • Dirty (high nutrient) water flows through the BioFilter. 

  • The hungry little microbes attack the nutrients they like to eat. 

  • Each microbial species picks their favorite food, eating the nutrients more & more every day. 

  • All this happens in a fresh, clean environment not compromised by past chemical treatments.


This filtration process is often supplemented by adding other small organisms that were also killed by repeated chemical applications. These small aquatic worms, mollusks & mussels also break down sediment & eat nutrients.

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BioFiltration in stormwater ponds is a leading-edge solution to high-nutrient, problem lakes. 

Beautiful Ponds partnered with Cornell University to evaluate the concept. Beautiful Ponds designed, built & managed BioFilters, & collected water samples for a year. Cornell staff analyzed the data. The research was published in the Journal of Sustainable Water in the Build Environment. It proved to be more successful than anticipated. 


The BioFilter is installed completely underwater, won’t affect lake views & can finally break the cycle of continual chemical treatment followed by another algae bloom. Continuing a chemical treatment program & expecting different results is an exercise in futility. 


If your lake has repeated algae blooms, call Beautiful Ponds for more information on how this sustainable alternative can solve your algae problem.

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