Posted by: Jim Thompson | October 1, 2012

Lake Update Aeration Project

Dear Ocean Neighbors Home Owner,

As you may be aware we recently experienced another fish kill on our Ocean Neighbors Lake which brings the total fish kills to 4 over the last 6 years. In July of this year we retained Applied Technology Management to investigate the possible reasons for the fish kills in our lake. That report has been on the web site now since August 16, 2012. In summary of the report, testing the lake clearly indicated the lake dissolved oxygen levels overall for the lake averaged at 3.09mg/L. To explain the reading, anything under 4mg/L marine species like fish become stressed and will not live long. Water temperature along with air temperature and slow water movement also create thermal conditions that stress fish. The bottom line is that all of these conditions build and when fish are already stressed due to insufficient oxygen levels it is very easy for a fish kill to result. Records of our fish kill by the SCDNR show that our lakes dissolved oxygen level during the 2008 fish kill was 1.7 mg/L. almost no oxygen which was toxic to the fish so the fish died. Applied Technology Management found after evaluating our lake and as reported in our September 11, 2012 meeting, that our lake was stressed and on the edge. The company’s conclusion was that we should install an aeration and diffuser system in our lake. Installing an aeration system will not guarantee that we will not have another fish kill, However, a healthy lake may prevent a fish kill of the magnitude we had.

Over the past several weeks we have further researched the causes of fish kills, speaking with other community presidents and marine engineers including a number of professional at the South Carolina Dept. of Natural Resources here on James Island and Pond Management Company’s. Based on all of our conversations and evaluation of the lake we are confident this current fish kill is again the result of low oxygen levels in the water. The long term evaluation is our lake will continue to experience fish kills as frequently if we do not improve the overall health and dissolved oxygen levels of the lake water.

How do we in Ocean Neighbors achieve a more healthy lake? The first step is to install an aeration system to improve the dissolved oxygen levels in the water. This action will promote a healthy place for all marine life to live by improving the circulation and mixing of dissolved oxygen in the water. Aeration systems manage lake temperatures through this mixing effect and promote a healthier lake. The aeration system will minimize lake stratification and support the marine life cycles.

Benefits of Installing an Aeration System

  1. Improve overall health of the lake.
  2. Provides a healthier environment for our marine species and wildlife that visit our lake. The lake attracts many types of wildlife that we have the opportunity to observe from Bald Eagles and Osprey to Blue Crabs and Flounder.
  3. A healthy lake is an asset to the community. The lake is enjoyed by many people for kayaking, canoeing, wind surfing, and the kids all fish here as well as adults.  Note:  These are all great sports however we also have to state that all home owners use the lake at their own risk.  The community or the association cannot be responsible for liability on the lake.
  4. The lake is one of the main benefits of our community and has a direct impact on the equity in our homes (certainly a dead lake would not be something to sell your home on).

Downside for Installation

  1. The aeration system will cost us money. One point to make here is that fish kills cost money as well. $2,000 plus to clean up. Leaving 2000 fish to rot is not safe and may attract disease.
  2. Fish kills may continue to develop in our lake.
  3. Increase utility cost for pump use.

The following actions are in process or have been finalized:

  1. The lake has been cleaned up and the dead fish taken to a Hazmat station for Hazardous Waste Disposal as required.
  2. The SCDNR will visit the lake on October 3, 2012 to further analyze the Lake’s algae and plankton.
  3. The Board has hired Trident Labs to conduct additional test of the lakes water.
  4. The SCDNR from James Island will be at our October 11, 2012 HOA meeting the first 30 minutes.
  5. Lake evaluation team analysis is as follows:We have been researching this project now for over a year and our conclusion is that the best solution for our community is to install the aeration system. The evaluation team has reached out to a number of companies and we have secured 4 pond management proposals for an aeration system to be installed. The cost for this system is estimated to be around $16,800 for the project and about $500 for a 220v plug to be installed in our electrical box at the lot. Funding the Project -­‐ Funds for this project will come out of our current P&L with no increase in dues to home owners for 2012, 2013 or beyond for this project. Funds will be used currently earmarked for the front entrance pipe project that will not go thru, late fees and fines collected and the balance from reserves. Again, no increase in home owner dues. We can work within the funds that we have in the P&L.

The board would appreciate your input on this project and we understand that not everyone can attend the meeting. As an Ocean Neighbors home owner your input is very important for us to make a decision. On the last page please complete the form and give us your comments.

Thank you for your time and input on this project and should you have a question please call a board member.


Ocean Neighbors Home Owners Board of Directors

Lake Project Comments

Please return any comments you have on this project to arrive by October 10, 2012. Please drop off your comments to one of the following addresses:

960 Clearspring Dr
958 Clearspring Dr
1123 Clearspring Dr
1130 Clearspring Dr.
1407 Surfside Court
Or e-­mail to
(If you e-­mail you must have your name in the e-­mail body )

Only one page submission per home owner please.

Name :

1584 Ocean Neighbors Blvd.

Thank you.

Signature is required__________________________________________________

Please note, this is not a vote.  This is your opinion but no signature will void the opinion.  For control only.

Download this letter as a PDF here:


  1. Just want to say that I appreciate all the work going into this project. We see aeration systems everywhere and, combined with the research on our situation, it appears that this is the way to go.

    • Thanks for the kind words MJ Blatchford!

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