Cloward H2O, an expert in aquatic design, worked with Grupo Vidanta on a permanent solution for some of the challenges with its man-made lakes at its flagship resort property in Puerto Vallarta. These lakes add to the atmosphere of the destination, however, as a result of runoff from the surrounding landscape and the process of eutrophication, they had developed algae growth, sludge deposits, unpleasant vibrant green colour, foaming, and foul odours.
Cloward H2O’s aquatic engineering team worked on solutions to restore the lakes, providing engineering for augmentation of existing infrastructure with key components to solve the lakes’ hydraulic, water quality, and high nutrient (nitrogen & phosphate) issues.
Eutrophication is the build-up of nutrients, leading to dense plant & algae growth, stratification, decay and anaerobic conditions. To solve the issue, project manager Dan Aldred, principal Allen Clawson and their team took inspiration from nature, aiming to replicate the process that takes place in natural lakes.
The engineering team looked at conditions in the existing lakes to identify the key factors and locations where augmentation would have the largest overall impact on water quality. They discovered that insufficient circulation and flow patterns were causing stagnant areas within the lakes.
To resolve this, Cloward H2O brought in a redesigned circulation system, featuring pumps, inlets, outlets and waterfalls that work to direct flow, allowing the water to move and circulate.
Improving water quality
Water quality was also improved by removing suspended material from runoff and algae growth. The team added water treatment modules to the circulation system, to boost water clarity and sanitation. The technologies used include low-waste and high-capacity filtration, along with chemical-free ozone for highly effective oxidation and sanitation, resulting in clean, clear water.
Algae growth is encouraged by high levels of nitrogen and phosphates. Cloward H2O analysed the nutrient inputs and outputs of the lakes and introduced measures to reduce runoff, treat the source waters, and provide beneficial plant growth. This helps to balance the nutrient loads. Now, combined with the improved hydraulics, filtration and sanitation, algae growth is limited, and a healthy balance is maintained in the lakes, year-round.
“Engineered solutions for optimal hydraulic flow, reduction in suspended solids, oxidation, sanitation, and healthy nutrient balance effectively restored Vidanta’s man-made lakes to the attractive and beautifying asset they were meant to be,” says Clawson. “Cloward H2O is pleased to have been entrusted with delivering “Water Perfected” in this meaningful project and partnership with Grupo Vidanta.”
Last month, Cloward H2O celebrated the longevity and legacy of one of its earlier projects, The Fountain of Rings, which is the centrepiece of Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta, Georgia. Completed in 1996, it is now visited by millions of guests each year.