Mysterious Machine Dropped to the Bottom of Lake Hodges
The Speece Cone is expected to clean city drinking water
By Joe Little
A machine now rests 70 feet deep, pumping oxygen into Lake Hodges in Escondido, California.
It’s the only one of its kind in all of Southern California and no one will see it again for years.
“It’s a giant upside-down cone with some pipes,” said Jeff Pasek. “It’s a strange looking device.”
It’s a strange looking device called a Speece Cone that’s expected to improve the water quality at Lake Hodges in Escondido, California.
“It’s not going to be seen again for a number of years because it’s 70 feet deep in the reservoir,” said Pasek, a Project Officer with the City of San Diego’s Public Utilities Department.
The $3.4 million project will constantly inject oxygen into the reservoir which will reduce the nutrients that algae feed on, Pasek said.
“There’s quite a bit of runoff captured in Lake Hodges Reservoir that we could use more efficiently if the water quality were improved,” he said. “The problem with the water quality in Hodges is that it grows a lot of algae.”
“This is the first one to be installed in Southern California,” Pasek added.
Lake Hodges Reservoir can hold enough water for 60,000 families for an entire year. That water is shared between the city of San Diego, the San Dieguito Water District, and the Santa Fe Irrigation District.
Dr. Richard Speece, Co-Founder, Member and Technical Consultant
Dr. Speece is currently Professor Emeritus of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Vanderbilt University specializing in the fields of anaerobic treatment of industrial wastewaters, gas transfer systems, supplemental oxygenation of rivers and reservoirs, GSAR modeling of chemicals in environmental processes, and response of hazardous chemicals to environmental biota.
Dr. Speece invented the Speece Cone that is the basis for ECO2 SuperOxygenation technology. Dr. Speece holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Fenn University, a Masters of Engineering in Civil Engineering from Yale University, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Civil Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.