An increasing appreciation for our natural resources and awareness of the environment around us has increased the focus on natural water systems that exist in our landscape. Whether it is a farm pond, a recreational fishing lake, or a retention pond that treats stormwater – all of these systems benefit from management.
Ponds exhibit a natural aging process involving the incorporation of nutrients from various sources, plant growth, and organic sludge accumulation. These natural processes are slowly but definitely turning our ponds back into land over time.
Ponds and lakes receive a constant barrage of nutrients from the watershed areas that serve to fill them. A wide range – from of naturally occurring and to inorganic waste – of material is challenging our aquatic environments on a daily basis. Some materials we commonly find in ponds:
Grass Clippings, fertilizer from landscapes, pet waste, pesticides and herbicides, stormwater including eroded soil and debris, eroded topsoil, petroleum residues, leaf litter from trees and shrubs, waterfowl waste, farm animal runoff, aquatic vegetation seasonal thatch, etc.
When these materials enter the aquatic environment, they increase nutrient levels One of the first responses is by aquatic vegetation, including algae and rooted plants which take up nutrients during growth. Simultaneously, bacteria begin to decompose the material as well. The aquatic plants, unless physically removed, will eventually return these nutrients to the water in the form of dead algal cells or seasonal plant thatch. This can result in rapid filling from the edges of the pond with sludge from degradation of season thatch. Depending on the algae population and species, organic sludge from algae can form a quite persistent sludge from the bottom. Disregarding flushing that may occur, bacterial degradation of organic material into gases that can exit the aquatic environment represent the only permanent method to remove these nutrients once they have entered.
Reversal of this filling process after is has been allowed to advance is possible but many options are expensive, disruptive to the pond and adjacent landscape (chemical treatment, draining, or dredging) and these may involve regulatory or permitting processes.
Ponds are an asset to real estate that need to be preserved and maintained. New construction is costly and it makes good sense not to defer maintenance and allow the deterioration of your investment.
Aeration is an effective, simple, and environmentally friendly technique for the maintenance and rejuvenation of ponds. Call The Lake Doctors today for your Aeration Quote!