Science | Improve Water Quality
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BioHaven® Technology

Supporting a healthy environment

floatingislandswestSolutionforPollution

Inspired by Nature for Nature…

Searching for an effective and natural way to improve water quality in both man-made and natural bodies of water, inventor Bruce Kania turned to the experiences of a childhood spent exploring and fishing in the waters of the upper Midwest. Inspired by the diversity and sheer wildness of the natural, floating islands that can occur there, he’s developed a system that not only enhances water quality but also provides a haven for wildlife.

Here's the simple science behind our BioHaven® islands
  • BioHavens® = Concentrated Wetland Effect

    • Like the natural wetlands, which offer both surface area and circulation, BioHavens®
      offer “augmented surface area.”
    • The unique design is within the “matrix,” our proprietary blend of fibers which are used to create the BioHaven®.
    • The matrix is important and serves many different functions including water cleansing, as well as extensive root growth on planted islands.

  • MORE SURFACE AREA = MORE MICROBES

    • Microbes start the feeding frenzy and create a residue known as BioFilm.
    • BioFilm is what some of us would look at as the nasty slimy stuff under the islands – it’s usually caught in the roots of the plants.
    • The BioHaven®  matrix serves as somewhat of a housing unit for all of these microbes…they live in the matrix and feed off of many of the nutrients in the water.

  • MORE MICROBES = LESS ALGAE

    • Duckweed and algae are a few common problems with waterways, lakes, and ponds, they also feed off of excess nutrients (the same source that microbes eat).  The more that duckweed & algae consume, the more of it you will have in your pond.
    • By creating more microbes, you will eventually starve the algae of its main food source.
    • Microbes in the form of biofilm are the biggest factors in removing nutrients from the water.

Microbial activity is what makes an aquatic system work.

Here's how it works

“BioHaven® is a commercially available floating wetland”, explains Leela O’Dea, an ecologist and founding partner at the aquatic environmental consulting firm, frog environmental. “It is about six inches deep and made up of a recycled plastic matrix, which allows plants to grow on it…The advantage of this system is that the roots offer a really high surface area for microbial and sedimentation processes to take place”, says O’Dea. “There are a lot of microscopic particles or colloids suspended in the water and the dangling roots, which are covered with a sticky biofilm of microbes, help the sedimentation of these colloids”. Once the roots become heavy they drop off and carry the colloid contaminants away into the sediment at the bottom of the water. “The sedimentation process is especially important for the removal of phosphorus”, says O’Dea, “because phosphorous often adsorbs to soil particles and so gets trapped in colloids.”

Natural floating islands, also called sudds, tussocks, floatons, or embalsados, are typically composed of floating vegetation, or peat, or both, along with mud, and may attain substantial thickness and longevity, sustain abundant riparian vegetation, and provide habitat for high densities of fish.

A BioHaven Floating Island ® is a man-made floating wetland.  Inspired by the natural occurring floating peat bogs in Northern Wisconsin, BioHavens ® were originally designed to mimic mother nature’s own creation…floating wetlands.  Using Nature to cleanse nature is a form of Biomimetics.

Biohaven® floating island technology, has been successfully applied in several conservation contexts throughout the world.  These conservation efforts, include enhancing fish habitat through manmade floating wetlands, aiding in restoration efforts of endangered species, and more.

In reservoirs, Biohaven® floating islands can be used to simulate natural floating islands that, prior to European colonization were common in the some of the state’s lentic water bodies, including Sheepy Lake and sections of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. These natural floating islands were composed of beds of bulrushes (Scirpus spp.), cattails (Typha spp.), reeds (Phragmites australis), and other emergent and floating plants, often underlain by buoyant peat that had delaminated from old deposits. Such floating islands still spontaneously form in some sectors of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Although no previous systematic attempts to simulate these kinds of habitat in California reservoirs has been made, this clearly is a “natural fit”.

Planted like a wetland or a garden, BioHaven® Floating Islands provide many benefits, including habitat restoration, carbon sequestration, and of course Water Cleansing.

Serious Research by experts in their respective fields was initiated to prove the efficacy of Floating Islands in removing some of the common pollutants.  As a result, the marketability has been proven beyond any doubt.

Since going directly to market, over 5,500 BioHaven® floating islands have been successfully launched into the worldwide waters.

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