Sean Hitch

Underwater fiber optic lines transporting sunlight.

Less sunlight penetrates the lake bed surface as the depth increases. Drop down some Fiber optic lines that transport solar light to the bed surface, maybe some copper fittings to help keep algae off, then let plants convert the sludge and silt into organic material that could be used as fertilizer or feed. If its hog food, removing the sludge in organic form could produce 30 bags in small area that turns into a $750 hog sell. Which could help compensate for initial costs and energy cost to remove sludge. Under a lot of docks in muddy lakes these plans for fiber optic lines or wireless energy pink grow lights could make lakes and docks have more fish habitat, while cleaning up the water.
3 Replies

Jonathan Kalb
Sounds like a really creative solution @Sean Hitch. I like how simple and inexpensive the set up seems. Might take longer than the demonstration period to prove its effectiveness though. An ideal system would be able to keep up with the amount of sediment that comes into the reservoir every year.

You could factor the extra fish into your cost analysis too. If the profit from the fish and fertilizer only cover the cost of the fiber optic system then you are still left with the original problem. Just my initial thoughts.
Tagged: Sean Hitch

Sean Hitch
@Jonathan Kalb
The specs for the aquatic plant added would be very technical. Above the water, plants are critical for preventing erosion. Hot earth scenarios, the forest service is lacking creativity in using nearly identical species to California species that has already evolved for hot Arizona areas. Adding those species that can spread thermal reflecting genes. Around 50 percent of sunlight is in the infrared range, plants like desert ironwoods leaves will measure cooler than outside temps. Example of this would be the Arizona Sycamores verses California Sycamores, which some consider just variations of the same specie. An oddity in data is that Humming bird data shows almost every species has been found to make nests in Arizona Sycamores, (thermal reflecting fuzz on leafs, humming birds love fuzzy stuff) where the California Sycamores (more waxy leaves to hold in water) only one specie will nest in those. To most they look nearly identical. Out hiking it looked like the Forest Service replaces Arizona Sycamores with California Sycamores many years ago. Huge problem in humming bird habitat, as well as making an area more wildfire prone. Arizona species of plants could really help prevent erosion, and padded in with their California cousins, would help spread genetic material that is already adapted for hotter climates. Details like that need to be done. In the water, submerged plants could act like a 2nd layer of erosion defense. there a large diversity of aquatic plants. Knowing what specs, possible a few could be bred to be exceptional at helping removing erosion that occurs while also being easy to collect.
That link shows maybe a different perspective, maybe the grow light areas can set up a sediment trap. In this way, sediment is held in an area by the help of plants. Like a 2nd layer of plants, just under water, to hold back erosion. Sell the plants as feed, then use that to help with fuel cost to dredge and move the sediment buildup. Now if the water has a lot of mercury in it from abandoned gold mines, maybe it would make a horrible feed, but in that case the plants being removed with the sediment trap could help clean out toxins from seeping abandoned gold mines.
Modified on Sept. 16, 2020, 8:07 p.m. PDT
Tagged: Jonathan Kalb

Jonathan Kalb
@Sean Hitch that all sounds interesting and well thought out. I have no doubt that this has practical applications that will serve many useful purposes. It does seem outside the scope of the competition though. You are solving problems outside of the main issue which is how to remove the sediment. What advantages does this proposed system have over the current methods for removal? Is the removal of the plants going to bring sediment up in the roots? Maybe there is a really tall plant that would stick up out of the water that has a large root system to hold sediment?
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