Floating Islands are not: • • • machines chemicals invented by man… Floating Islands are mimicry of a naturally occurring phenomenon! Nature has created Floating Islands to maintain itself in a healthy state of being.
The German company BGS (Bestmann-Green-Systems®) has been developing their floating systems since the 90ies. More and more application challenges have systematically optimized the product range. Karajaal Design Aquatique Inc is the exclusive distributor for BGS in Canada.
Main Purpose of Floating Systems
The main purpose of floating systems is to clean a water body. Cleaning the water body means to take excess nutriments effectively and permanently out of the water column.
The biomass is harvested.The amount of time required to do this varies according to the volume and condition of the water.creating the biofilm -. AquaGreen®Floating Rafts (FF type) 2. AquaGreen®Floating Blankets (SRD type) 3. AquaGreen®Floating Islands (SK type)
. the extent of active bio-film. 3. Phosphates and nitrates pass through the metabolism or the micro-organisms and are thus transformed into an ‘easier digestible form’. 4. The transformed nutriments are deposited directly on the roots of the plants.
Floating systems will not eliminate algae directly. the maturity of the island’s plants. 2. and algae starve in the wake. This procedure is more advantageous than chemical fight against algae for it leaves no dead algae behind – what would later become more nutriments. as well as the root and rhizome system. The synergy of plants and microorganisms does the job: micro-organisms/biofilm are able to sequester the nutrients out of the water column faster than algae. and other environmental factors. we offer three distinct types: 1. The plants take them in and build with them the biomass above the water level: leafs and stems 5. taking the excess nutriments effectively and permanently out of the water. Floating systems roughly work like this: 1. and take nutriments out of the water.
Types of Floating systems
According to site specific considerations and main purpose of the floating system. . Micro-organisms colonize the matrix of the island.
Vegetation of retention basins and retention pools with high fluctuation in water level 12. water ski. Raising the attractivity of constructions. To naturalize vertical retaining walls in rivers. no niches. Create small biotopes for a multitude of living beings like invertebrates. overflows. Purification of process-waters (cooling water or carwash water purification) 7. Substitute for missing living spaces 18. Create floating separations between different areas of usage 5. Design of water banks for artificial water bodies where natural vegetation is not possible (too steep. completely chemical-free water sanitization for fountains (in parks) and eco pools 3. Shadowing for spawning areas for fish. Biological. marinas…) 16. insects. bird waste) 23. Creation of reed belts along steep banks (quarry lakes. Divisions in EcoPools between swimming area and regeneration area 4. too much exposure to wave erosion) 15. protection of young fish 21.and sediment-traps in retention basins 8. To enhance ecological water conditions 2. Covering of drinking water reserves to limit pollutant entries (i. urban channels. walls. Creation of horizontal banks. Covering of waste water tanks to diminish bad smell and accelerate nutriment elimination
. Diminishing sediment and pollutant entry 19. Establish linear connections between different floating systems 6. Facilitate entry of animals into the water body 10. retaining walls. Wave diffusion and wave dampening in areas of boat traffic (recreation lakes. Creation of ecological educational wetlands in urban spaces 17. marinas and harbors 9. mining lakes etc) 13. weirs etc 22.Applications
1. no need for costly solid construction and land-fill 14.e. amphibians or birds 11. Creation of shade above shallow water areas to diminish/prevent overheating of the water during hot summer months 20. Create oil.
the air bubbles dissolve oxygen into the water so that the aerobic bacteria can thrive. some in their leafs. Phosphates and nitrates are taken out of the water column by different types of bacteria: Phosphates are taken out of the water by aerobic bacteria (that need oxygen to do their work) and nitrates by anaerobic bacteria (that do not need oxygen).
Schematic drawing on functioning of floating islands and floating blankets
The absorption of heavy metals varies according the plant species: some incorporate these pollutants in their roots. To be able to cultivate biofilm that accommodates the two types of bacteria. Each square meter can yield up to 120m² bio-effective surfaces. In contrast to the control group of free
An organism that requires organic substrates to get its carbon for growth and development. The other part of the island only gets the water movement created by the air bubbles without the air bubbles which is convenient for the anaerobic bacteria.
. The floating system does give for the first time the possibility to harvest not only the leafs but also the roots to finally take the heavy metals permanently out of the water. we place an aeration system below one part of the floating system: the rising bubble stream moves oxygen poor and nutrient rich cold water up to the roots. Polluted and eutrophic water bodies typically are poor in dissolved oxygen. Research of the biofilm installed on the root-sphere (inter-rhizome) has given us important data about the heterotrophic biofilm1.BioFilm
The roots of the plants on a floating system create a very extensive surface for colonization. This rootsphere serves as a colonization surface for the microorganisms.
from damselfly nymphs to leopard frogs . doing their part to keep water clear. locate and manage your island. It will have more capacity to handle disruptions. Aquatic invertebrates live among the plant roots providing more food for fish.
. Many aquatic invertebrates are the nymphs of flying insects such as mayflies and damselflies. turtles haul out onto stepping stones to bask and goldfinches land to drink water from a puddle. Habitat diversity naturally generates wildlife diversity. It won’t be immune to trauma. At the same time.your pond or waterway will become more resilient. they feed on algae. but it will be more able to adapt and sustain its basic equilibrium. As the floating system becomes home to an expanded variety of life . Here a list for the counts per species of microorganisms: Numbers are counts of individuals per cm²: Vorticella campanula 3780 Epistylis entzii 859 Actina tuberosa 212 Brachionus urceolaris 103 Cephalodella foficula 42 Limnias ceratophylli 35
Floating systems and Wildlife
AquaGreen® systems contribute significantly to the habitat diversity of an ecosystem.
Floating systems on a lake in Spain with trees to attract cormorans
You can influence wildlife use by the way you plant. both physically and in terms of plant species. we have ways of discouraging waterfowl species if they aren’t desirable to have in your waterway. If your goal is to provide nesting habitat for ducks or other waterfowl.water we could count an increase of 5000 individuals per cm².literally thousands of species of microbe and fauna. we offer an island with a dry zone for nesting. Conversely. Frogs lay egg masses at the edges of islands.
Floating systems are a multi-functional product with a very high lifetime and almost no maintenance. Floating systems can be combined to reach very large lengths. soon the plants will create a root matrix inside the supports and under. Another factor is the length of the floating system in relationship to the length of the waves.Floating systems and Climatic Conditions
AquaGreen® systems have also an influence on the climatic conditions of a water body: they keep shallow water zones cool. The root matrix of Carex acutiformis has yielded root lengths of 882m per liter (10. the conditions of the water and the wind and the choice of plants. this means a total of root length of 250km per m² (7. The actual wave attenuation degree depends on many factors.
Floating systems in the Zoo of Gelsenkirchen. the purpose of the island.000ft per gal). amongst others the depth and kind of water body. Prior to installation we fix the pre-vegetated Armaflor®Rollsods onto the floating mats. Depending on the type of waves. we have reached average results of 30-80% wave dampening action. slow down the speed of water currents (erosion protection) and dampen wave actions. Germany
Floating systems and Waves
The particular way of construction achieves maximum solidity without compromising flexibility and the ability to adapt to the water surface and its movements. we supply special anchoring loops for this purpose.600ft per ft²).
. The maximal size of a floating system will be determined by the size of the water body.
in between them.5’-10’). water course care. spun or wound around the three rolls.AquaGreen® Floating Raft
More and more floating vegetation elements are used in landscaping. consequently the width of the complete raft will be between 60-65cm/24’’-25’’.00m(7. Its shape is best compared to that of trimaran. The floating element is resistant against decaying as well as UV radiation.30-3. The BGS . The AquaGreen®-Floating Raft combines these two functions being at the same time a design and a technical element.
The AquaGreen®-Floating Raft is constructed of two Armaflor®-Roll Sods that hold the floating device. For installations on sites with variable water levels we offer specially engineered anchoring devices. aquatic construction and in landscape engineering. formed from Repotex® I2. a multitude of individual rafts can be combined in modules to create an unlimited variety of forms and configurations. The three raft elements are bound together by a strong PP cord. In addition this small-scale. yet tightly bound together. in this sense it contributes to the ecological value of any water body. highly structured raft creates a new colonization area for many animal and plant species.
. The standard length of the raft is 2. At the moment of installation the vegetation on the supports can already be completely developed.1. preservation of natural areas. All the three elements are flexible. The diameter of the AquaGreen®Roll Sods and the floating roll is typically 20cm/8’’. The employed materials should be an answer to technical as well as aesthetical demands. The combination with other floating elements (docks etc) or permanent non-floating installations is also possible. where three adjacent elements are bound together.
This has become a standard ecological engineering technology.and oil-trap. For the planting matrix we typically use natural coir fibers.
. The floating strands in the Repotex® mats are made of foamed PE. Slow growing species are preferred as they give more stability on the small rafts and create better hydrostatic conditions. we use a 5mm (1/4’’) strong PE covered stainless steel rope. which is placed inside the raft along the protective netting.
Typically any raft consists of two materials: an inert floating matrix and a slowly degradable (± three years) planting matrix. especially local reeds and other riparian plants. this will also increase the overall stability of the raft system. All these materials are resistant against microorganisms. The plants used to colonize the floating systems and rafts have to be strictly indigenous. The weight of the plants counteracts and balances this buoyancy. Anchoring. To anchor the rafts. The plants will form a web of rhizomes and roots under the raft that will form a submerged biomass inside and under the raft. no chemicals should be allowed to leak into the water body at any time. aging and corrosion. All AquaGreen® products fulfill this requirement. The rope will be attached to anchor stones or on shore.Our AquaGreen® Floating Rafts are typically planted with low growing reeds. this biomass creates additional buoyancy: by the buoyant intercellular spaces inside the plants and by small gas bubbles created by the micro-organisms that colonize raft and root system. sedges and irises. it can also be used as a sediment. Floating Rafts have proven their quality in countless field applications since now 20 years. The width of the rafts can be enhanced by lateral additions of other rafts. The symmetrical construction of two vegetation supports around one floating device guaranties sufficient stability also in wavy conditions. UV radiation.
• • Underwater Aprons to protect the raft and rhizome network from too high water currents. The optional netting around them is made of inert plastic. The main criterion that guides the choice of suitable materials for the floating matrix is its inertia and physical stability.
The basis of a floating blanket is a synthetic support for the vegetation in the form of woven material: AquaGreen®Repotex®I2.2. This vegetation support is constructed as matting.
Developed root system under the matting
Repotex® I2 floatation matting
. in which floating devices are woven into the matting and covered by a synthetic liner to withstand mechanical stress (like floating debris or ice heaving).
Typically all Repotex® products are conceived to be entirely resistant against decay. however. be combined with degradable materials (i. The ‘artificial’ buoyancy of the island will be supported further by naturally occurring buoyancy: plants have floating cells and micro-organisms on the roots as well as inside the support matrix will create micro gas bubbles. Depending on the individual product. A plantation on site is possible if the site conditions allow for that.18m x 50m (4’ by 150’). Technical Data: • • • Weight: 200-500g/m² (20-50g/ft²) Thickness: 20-30mm (3/4’’to 1-1/4’’) Standard dimensions: 1.
The basic construction of all Repotex® products is a grossly woven structure.
We have created a great variety of plant support matting which will be the right answer to any special application. This matting are typically supplied pre-grown.BGS . it can. we carry also Repotex®I3 which has more buoyancy for special applications.e. our matting has varying floatation capabilities: the standard type is Repotex®I2. The material can be cut in straight sections or any other geometrical shapes on demand.
Floating blanket at second vegetation period
The synthetic vegetation support of the Repotex®I2 type will be covered (according to the overall design) with pre-grown coir matting and/or other synthetic netting. coir matting) or fabricated completely biodegradable. It is core part of all floating systems.
we can add protective nettings against damage by rodents (also for koi-ponds). soft modules. The complete systems are then howled to their final destination. but the island will typically shed the excess water within a day or two and buoyancy will return to normal.
Installation and Anchoring
We design and deliver detailed installation and anchoring instructions specific for the conditions on site. Dragging anchors are also an option. At their final destination the floating systems are tied to stone-bag-anchors. decks or concrete walls. The matting need to be unrolled immediately after reception and watered.
.The self-buoyancy is counteracting the weight of the seasonally produced biomass of plant origin. We also offer additional floating devices in the shape of tubular. Depending on the construction and application. Heavy rain or dousing from a sprinkler can cause an island to ride lower in the pond. Floating systems can be installed all year round during ice-free periods. Installation is required on the same day. Floating blankets can be anchored movable (one anchor line) or fixed (two or more anchor lines).
The floating blankets are delivered rolled-up on site. We supply fixation and anchoring gear together with the matting. The high flexibility and mobility of the floating island make them easily serviceable on shore. Typically the floating blankets are brought into the water and joined together in the shallow water zone (depending on site conditions).
BGS . and a surface of 2.90m/114” with a surface of 3.60m²/39ft² SK 60: islands with a side length of 6m/236’’ with a surface of 15.
Floating Islands fully grown
We produce two standard sizes of Floating Islands: SK A: pre-grown islands SK B: islands with gravel surface SK24: islands with side length of 2.50m²/27ft².6m²/168ft² Floating Islands constitute a system of freely combinable equilateral triangles. Their construction in plastic or stainless steel guaranties a long life and high resistance against mechanical stress and corrosion. Float Islands are the simple answer to all these demands.3. stronger supports and additional buoyancy will be required.
Floating Islands before plantation
.AquaGreen®-Floating Islands (Type SK)
Floating islands are the variation of floating systems for situations where you expect more stress on the floating island: higher currents and/or higher wave or ice heaving actions.40m/94”. If a strong increase of plant-biomass due to the rich nutriment availability is to be expected. made of PP/PE/PES SK 30: islands with a side length of 2.
We supply proven anchoring systems for all the different site conditions. Durable construction in stainless steel 4. Each triangle can support a weight of up to 200kg (structural buoyancy only). thus maintaining a high purification rate.
Advantages on a glance:
1. UV stabilized netting that serves as support for the vegetation matrix is installed inside the triangles. This system did prove sufficient for Floating Islands interconnected with 8mm chains and 13mm Nylon cords even during autumn and winter storms.
Large water bodies without high riparian plants and great water depth allow for high waves.To supply a highly qualified product. Root horizon as colonization space for microorganisms 8. Another possibility are concrete anchors of 20 or 50kg. In cases where the floating islands cannot be shipped fully assembled. Immediate greening 3. Almost maintenance free 6. Nest and brooding spaces for birds 9. For example we use plough anchors in non-moving waters with a weight of 9kg and a maximal holding force of 500kp. The interlocking of different islands is done inside the water because there they are most easily moved. The netting is installed under tension to prevent partial sinking or sagging when the plants are introduced. each unit is welded and has passed a waterproofing test prior to delivery. During installation you have to watch current and wind because the dragging resistance of the Floating Islands is considerable. The insertion of a fender acts as a buffer between the individual elements. Single islands are attached to one another by the corners with the help of coupling rings. we send them in complete sets to be assembled on site. Simple installation 5.
Floating Islands are delivered complete: you just have to launch them upon reception. This is especially important in waste water treatment to avoid any backflow of extracted pollutants/nutriments back into the water. Wave dampening
. Improvement of the water quality 2. 120m² active bio surface per m² (120ft² per ft²) 7. Spawning space for fish 10. Highly tear resistant. Shadowing and cooling of shallow water 11.
The frame construction is the same. To ensure a higher stability. SK B Floating islands are additionally equipped mats made from Repotex®.The Floating Islands of the SK B variety are used in bird sanctuaries. the surface however is covered with gravel.
Floating Islands B type with gravel
. we use a double net construction and add additional floating devices. which are laid over the tubular triangle to facilitate the water side entry of little birds.