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Lake Doctors Attends Clemson University’s Healthy Pond Series: Pond Inspection 101

Sean Fleming – Aquatic Consultant from our South Carolina office recently attended Clemson University’s Healthy Pond Series, hosted by the school’s Cooperative Extension. The Healthy Pond Series is “a community-based discussion series for Berkeley, Charleston, and Dorchester pond owners to learn and share stormwater pond management solutions.”

During last month’s discussion, pond owners learned the when, where, what, and how’s of a proper stormwater inspection; therefore, resulting in accurate recommendations for proper maintenance and repairs when required. This gave attendees the opportunity to divide into small groups and have a Q&A with Sean during the mock inspection. The participants appreciated the chance to talk with industry experts, network, and share best practices as it relates to stormwater pond management.

 

Factors that can Cause a Pond to Become out of Balance

Now that the warmer months are behind us, ponds are beginning to “shut down” with winter finally here. For our industry, this is welcome news as the growth season was very difficult this past Summer. Warmer temperatures prevent water from mixing, causing algae and weeds to grow thicker and faster, drastically changing water quality parameters such as dissolved oxygen levels, clarity, water hardness, PH, etc.

Many factors can throw a pond out of balance such as fluctuations in fish population and bacteria levels. The more difficult ponds to evaluate are the ones in which certain water quality characteristics are not as apparent (not referring to turbidity or phosphorous, which have a directly observable effect, but the ponds that neutralize chemical effectiveness). The sneaky parameters are salinity and hardness, which can reduce the effectiveness of aquatic herbicides.

In one recent case, certain parameters were being controlled with bottom aeration and algaecide treatments; however, the herbicide treatments were not effective on the slender spikerush. The spikerush just slightly burned, but could not be completely controlled. A water sample was pulled, in which we discovered the water hardness was higher than usual.  Subsequent treatments were taken to mitigate that hardness and increase the effectiveness of our herbicides. The pond was additionally stocked with the sterile triploid grass carp to help control algae levels.

Chemical resistance aside, every pond is different and certain environmental factors cause ponds to change. Think of all the situations that can cause a pond to become out of balance such as the following:

  • Discharge from new upland construction
  • New landscapers applying different fertilizers
  • Well system introduced either directly or indirectly
  • Coastal storm flooding
  • Change in groundwater
  • Large debris discharge (seagrass or pine needles)
  • Structural changes

To help ensure your lake or pond is always in balance, it is important to conduct periodic water quality monitoring and assessments, which can help our team of experts design a custom program based on your ponds individual characteristics.

Our team of experts are ready to assist you with any of your aquatic needs. You may reach us at (800) 666-LAKE or lakes@lakedoctors.com. We look forward to hearing from you today!

Welcome to The Lake Doctors Blog, your Rx for healthy lakes and ponds.

LD Fish

We’d like to dedicate our first post to welcoming you to our newly resigned website and future blog platform. Here you will find posts pertaining to all things related to the aquatic management industry. We’ll dive into different discussions about the various types of services we offer, industry updates, helpful tips, inspiring images, behind-the-scenes peeks on new projects, current trends, and much more! 

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