Log In

Reset Password

Newtown Company Working To Clear Up Murky Waterways



Text Size

Newtown Company Working To Clear Up Murky Waterways

By John Voket

As the environmental debacle of the BP oil spill played out in the Gulf of Mexico, many who looked on helplessly got a crash course in marine biology

With the world watching, hundreds of responders offered scientific and engineering expertise to devise the process of capping the spewing well, and initiate the concurrent environmental intervention.

At the same time, Newtowner Andrea Haas and her New Milford partner Reggie McLellan, Jr, worked quietly in their corner of the planet cleaning and protecting local waterways affected by their own smaller scale environmental catastrophes.

Establishing their business earlier this year, Ms Haas told The Newtown Bee that Aquamarine Environmental Services, LLC set out to become the first company of its kind in Connecticut carrying all the required professional and environmental certifications to address most of the issues that can foul, choke, and sometimes even kill the ecological viability of a pond, lake, or other water course.

Mr McLellan said the work is tedious, because while his work involves renewing a living body of water, he does not want to compromise the “patient” during the operation.

“Every step of every project has to be eco-friendly,” he explained while working to remove the top layer of duck meal from the second of two residential ponds in the Hattertown Historic District August 3.

Mr McLellan, who is a licensed commercial diver and captain, as well as a being certified to handle the environmental engineering and related duties tied to his profession, said the process of removing or scrubbing the invasive living plants that can choke a healthy pond during the height of summer is a scientific tightrope walk.

“We’re sometimes operating a vacuum that can suction and filter 700 gallons of water an hour,” he said. “So we have to be constantly aware that we’re not letting the water level get too low, or taking out so much water that the temperature drastically changes, which can kill or harm other environmental aspects that we want to leave alone.”

Invasives No More

No stranger to invasive underwater weeds, Mr McLellan sought the services he now provides when the need arose at his home on Candlewood Lake.

“I looked for someone to solve the problem and came up empty,” he said. “So I saw the need for this kind of service.”

Initially, Mr McLellan was “stunned” to find out how many certifications he needed to apply his diving hobby in his work.

“I had to be come a commercial diver, and a commercial boat captain, along with all the environmental education and certifications,” he said.

Ms Haas, a local realtor since the late 1960s, said she became acquainted with her future business partner after using his services on a client’s beachfront home.

“Having an entrepreneurial background, I immediately saw a need for what Reggie wanted to provide,” Ms Haas said.

In the process of getting the business started, Mr McLellan also had problems finding the right equipment he required to do the many surface and underwater projects the company offers, so in several instances he modified existing equipment, or he designed and built it himself.

One of those cleaning systems uses a reverse pressure concept to generate enough suction to remove harmful plan infestations from the cementlike mud and rocks at the bottom of waterways. And all of the services the fledgling company provides are chemical-free.

As a result of Ms Haas’s involvement, the company is also one of the first female majority owned and operated dive companies in the region.

Mr McLellan and his crew have the ability to perform almost any underwater projects, with concentration on underwater construction inspection; repair and maintenance of underwater structures; beach or shoreline erosion prevention; and consulting on commercial marine biology.

Range Of Services

Aquamarine Environmental Solutions also offers:

*Hull cleaning solutions with their state-of-the-art cleaning equipment and assorted brushes to match an owner’s paint and fouling condition.

*Underwater welding and burning by certified underwater welders and burners.

*And underwater video and imaging solutions featuring high resolution digital imaging, in-house and onsite, live CCTV color video, and authoring on request.

With more than 20 personal certifications and a dozen company licenses and certifications, Aquamarine Environmental Solutions aims to provide water pollution solutions through manual as well as mechanical and/or environmental testing of rivers, ponds, lakes, shorelines, and oceans.

They specialize in weed removal and identification through suction harvesting.

“We offer an advanced private and public cleaning, dredging, and beach restructuring organization, with emphasis on weed removal,” Ms Haas said. The company provides limnology reports and studies; salvage; natural and manufactured debris removal; underwater construction of bridge footings, piles, piers, seawalls, and steps; as well as welding, fabrications, and in-house engineering.

The company just finished an extensive project at the Candlewood Lake Club, and has been called to consult throughout the region, and as far away as southern New Jersey.

To learn more about the company, view aquamarineenviro.com or call 203-426-8051.

Comments are open. Be civil.

Leave a Reply