Water quality issues

The Hurlingham Club in Fulham, London, has turned to a pond and lake aeration specialist for three new machines to tackle water quality problems in its two-acre lake. 

There were three specific issues to solve: algae, water smells and noise disturbance as Tom Clarke, deputy grounds manager at the club for 11 years who manages a team of 28, explains: “The water quality was gradually deteriorating because the existing aerating units were getting old - some were upwards of 15 years old. We had algae beginning to form, there was sitting water near one of the bridges due to a lack of water circulation causing a smell and one of the units which was near the sunbathing area was beginning to create a noise disturbance.”

To help the club say they turned to Otterbine, as Simon Powell from their UK distributor Reesink Turfcare explains: “This project was a very thorough installation with a wide range of Otterbine solutions. We specified the 3hp C2 Sub-Triton aspirator to deal with the bad smell at one of the bridges caused by the slit layer gassing off methane; the 5HP Sunburst aerating fountain to provide well-needed aeration to keep the algae at bay and to complete the line-up the Air Flow 3 underwater diffuser to provide a silent solution for keeping the water clean and clear near the sunbathing area. This provided a complete renovation of the water body.” 

Solving these issues and improving the water quality of the lake has had a wider impact on the club’s grounds, as Tom explains: “We want to create the best quality water we can for the grounds and the lake is the source of our irrigation water. We’ve got over 286 sprinklers and approximately two kilometres of dripline going round, so the improvements made to the water quality doesn’t just benefit those in the immediate vicinity of the lake but the whole 42 acres of the estate.”

And Tom confirms it’s not just the club’s members who are pleased with the new aerators: “We have a lot of ornamental ducks using the lake. There are natural ones that come in and we also add ducks you wouldn’t see anywhere else. We’ve got a couple of black swans and different fowl and they really appreciate a better environment.” 

Looking to the club’s future, Tom says: “We’re taking up a masterplan plan now. The club is putting a vote out to members to see how it can reinvest to make its services better. The grounds department is well supported by the Hurlingham club. The grounds are the icon of the club, so we do whatever we can to improve standards and keep things looking as good as they can. I’d like to add a second fountain in the lake, maybe even a third. It would look great and just set off the whole lake.”

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