Journal & Topics Media Group

30 Underwater Bubblers Work To Keep Lake Opeka Healthy

Volunteers several years ago raked algae from Lake Opeka in Des Plaines during a severe drought. (Park district photo)

Maintaining the health of Lake Opeka at Lake Park in Des Plaines took on a new level last year with the installation of 30 underwater devices that refresh the quality of the water to keep harmful vegetation under control and breathe life into a large population of fish.

The devices, named “bubblers” are positioned throughout the lake. Their purpose is to move and mix water which brings oxygen into the lake. They produce bubbles to accomplish this.

The park district purchased the bubblers last year at a cost of between $150,000 and $200,000. Park personnel on small boats check the condition of the bubblers on a regular basis.

“Having more oxygen protects the lake from algae,” said Executive Director Don Miletic. “We don’t use fertilizer on our property. The bubblers run non-stop.”

Located on the west side of Lake Opeka near Howard and Lee Street is the district’s par 3 golf course. On the lake’s east side is a recreational area with a playground, cooking grills, shelters and the Lake Park Memorial Pavilion.

In past years, especially during dry summer months, the levels of Lake Opeka and ponds scattered at various other parks have decreased for periods of time. This has created situations where park employees and volunteers have had to rake algae out of the lake along its shoreline for protection purposes.

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