Staff urged to act to limit impact of winter freeze

Grounds and parks staff are being warned to beat the big chill this winter by aerating ponds, lakes and water features to keep ice at bay.

"Forecasters predict the freezing conditions we had last season are set to return," said a representative for industry expert Otterbine.

Mixing warmer bottom waters with freezing surface water by using aeration systems could prevent water freezing, he added. "Typically, an aerator can open an iced-up area of more than 900sq m in just a day or two, and keep ponds and lakes open to the public."

Ice-free water also helped waterfowl pecking for food in lakes and reduced the risk of people slipping on frozen surfaces.

Otterbine's Air Flo 2 sub-surface aerator relies on an onshore air compressor and diffuser manifolds sitting up to 12m down to bubble air into the water.

"Seek advice when choosing an aerator because water depth, area, location, and local climate will all affect the unit's capability."

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