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A cleaner way to clean water
Aug. 29, 2016

By Starrla Cray
Associate Editor

Aquatic Restoration Services in Winsted uses eco-friendly methods to remove contaminants from ponds and wetlands

WINSTED, MN – Aquatic Restoration Service is good news for bodies of water filled with contaminants, sediment, silt, and weeds.

The new Winsted-based company, which was created by three area couples, focuses on restoring wetlands using eco-friendly equipment that’s less invasive than traditional methods.

“We’ll go anywhere in the five-state area,” said Tim Smith of Howard Lake, adding that they’d eventually like to expand to the entire US.

Tim and his wife, Sarah, have been friends with the other owners – Nic and Marj Frieler of Glencoe, and Jim and Shelly Pettit of Winsted – for many years.

“It’s a second career for all of us,” said Tim, whose background is in manufacturing engineering/regulatory work.

The idea to start this type of business began when the couples heard of another person who had used this method to clean water.

They liked the concept of doing something good for the environment – and good for their families – and began researching the opportunity.

Their first step was to have a machine, called an Aquatic Vac, custom-built for them. This floating, self-propelled, high-volume pump has a submersible head and a flexible transfer hose to remove suspended solids and contaminants. According to the Aquatic Restoration Service brochure, this type of equipment has been in use for the past 20 years with great success.

“We’ve done a ton of testing,” Tim said, explaining that they’ve improved the machine’s maneuverability, efficiency, and ease of use.

Jim (who previously had a career in the wastewater treatment industry) added that, as far as they know, they are currently the only company in the US to utilize this particular type of equipment.

“We have a great advantage,” Shelly said, noting that with the traditional dredging method, a construction excavator is used to scoop out soil, which can disrupt shoreline habitat and bottom water surfaces.

The hydraulic Aquatic Vac, in contrast, efficiently removes material without harming the liner or base material. Often, more than 90 percent of suspended material can be taken out.

“We can adjust the height of our guide wheels, so we never dig into the soil or sand on the bottom,” Nic said.

If desired, the sediment can be chemically treated and pumped to a location miles away.

Aquatic Restoration Service works with both public and private entities.

Due to legislation, owners of many bodies of water need to have a stormwater pollution prevention program to prevent discharge. Municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s) must submit an annual report showing the implementation of their plan.

In order for clients to see the areas that have been cleaned, Aquatic Restoration Service uses GPS mapping similar to what is used in farming.

Tim noted that they are currently researching invasive species removal, with plans to complete those types of jobs in the future, as well.

To learn more about Aquatic Restoration Service, call (320) 455-3613, email info@aquaticrestorationservice.com, or CLICK HERE to visit the company's website.

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