Controlling soluble iron and manganese in a water-supply reservoir using hypolimnetic oxygenation

Paul A. Gantzer, L Bryant, John C. Little

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Soluble metals such as iron (Fe) and manganese (Mn) often reach problematic levels in water-supply reservoirs during summer stratification following the onset of hypolimnetic hypoxia. The behavior of soluble and particulate Fe and Mn was studied following the installation of a hypolimnetic oxygenation system in Carvins Cove Reservoir, a water-supply impoundment managed by the Western Virginia Water Authority. During oxygenation, manganese concentrations were very low in the bulk hypolimnion (<0.05 mg l−1), but high concentrations (>2.0 mg l−1) were still observed in the benthic region close to the sediment, despite near-sediment dissolved oxygen concentrations in excess of 5.0 mg l−1. Oxygenation appears to affect the location of the oxic/anoxic boundary sufficiently to restrict substantial transport of soluble Mn to the bulk water of the hypolimnion. However, the position of the oxic/anoxic boundary was not uniformly affected along the reservoir bottom, allowing horizontal transport of soluble Mn from higher elevations in contact with hypoxic sediments. During one summer, when the oxygen system was turned off for a month, the soluble Mn in the bulk hypolimnion increased substantially. Oxygen concentrations were quickly restored after the system was turned back on, but elevated levels of soluble Mn persisted until the sedimentation rate of detritus through the hypolimnion increased. When operated without interruption, the oxygenation system was able to reduce the bulk average hypolimnion soluble Mn concentration by up to 97%, indicating that source water control of soluble Mn and Fe can be accomplished with hypolimnetic oxygenation in water-supply reservoirs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1285-1294
Number of pages10
JournalWater Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2009


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