Lake Musconetcong is located on the border of Morris County and Sussex County, New Jersey, and is part of Hopatcong State Park, which is administered by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. The Musconetcong River flows through the lake. The lake covers 329 acres (1.3 kmÇ), with a mean depth of approximately 5 feet (1.5 m) and a maximum depth of 10 feet (3.0 m).
The lake’s watershed covers 14,000 acres (57 km). Lake Musconetcong is downstream of Lake Hopatcong, the largest lake in New Jersey and is part of its watershed. Since this lake is shallow, it has experienced ongoing problems with weeds (especially near the shore line), and accumulated organic sediment has become a pressing issue. Over the years, the algal and weed blooms, ongoing herbicide applications, and resulting residue from die-offs has resulted in considerable bottom sediment problems.
EcoBac, a prepared blend of sludge digesting beneficial bacteria and probiotics, has been used successfully around the world to solve sludge build-up problems. In this situation, with a known sludge problem around the lake, the authorities chose a specific section of the lake to test the sludge reducing ability of EcoBac.
Using the sludge judge (shown below), the clear polycarbonate tube was slowly inserted into the lake all of the way to the bottom. When the sludge judge reached the bottom of the lake, a bottom valve closed, and the column of water representing the entire lake water column at that point was held within the sludge judge.
The sludge judge was applied at 6 points in the lake, using the GPS points noted for consistency of measurement throughout the trial. Initial sampling was performed on June 1, 2015.
EcoBac Dosing Program
EcoBac was prepared off-site and brought to the lake once a week during July, August, and September, 2015
The product was prepared in a 275 gallon tote
Each week, 275 gallons of liquid prepared EcoBac were brought to the lake site and dosed as close as possible to the 6 noted dose / sample points
Every week, about an equal amount of product was applied to each of the 6 GPS identified points
Using the same sludge judge technique, with the same technician, and with all measurements overseen by lake authorities, 6 measurements were taken. Testing was done before dosing, 6 weeks into dosing and 12 weeks into dosing. The sludge reduction ranged from 10% to 58% with an average of 29% in just 3 months of treatment.
Note: The treatment area was not cordoned off or otherwise separated from the rest of the lake. While the defined treatment area was 3 acres, the product applied to this area was diluted to the rest of the lake. This meant the treatment ration (275 gallons per 3 acres per week) should have been adjusted downward considerably when scaling up to full lake treatment.
Based on our experience, the comparable treatment rate to achieve a 30% reduction of lake sludge in 3 months in a fully confined treatment zone would be 275 gallons per week per 10 acres. If the dosing period could be extended to 6 months, the typical rate would be 275 gallons per week per 15 acres.