Basic Pond Management For Water Quality

July 20th, 2009

Ashley-before-after-watermeal-algae-brittle-niadAlthough all lakes and ponds are unique, there are a few basic pond management practices that can be used in all fresh waterbodies to help improve or prevent water quality problems. In order to understand these concepts more clearly, we must first understand the problems.

In any pond, especially those in which storm water is being collected, the primary issue is the mass loading of that system with nutrient runoff and sediments from fertilizer, leaves, grass clippings, eroded soils, etc. The excess nutrient and organic buildup in a pond will result in pond algae growth, poor water clarity and appearance, foul odors, and more. Additionally, the inflow of sediments will begin to fill the pond, displace storage capacity, and result in the need for dredging in the future.

To help mitigate these problems, you should maintain desirable grass and vegetative buffers in all areas directly surrounding the pond, eliminate direct fertilization of the areas immediately adjacent to the pond, and educate all homeowners throughout the entire community to minimize the fertilizer used on their lawns and shrubs. Also, under no circumstances should any grass clippings, leaves, or other organic material be dumped or blown into the gutters, drains, ditches, or ponds. If there is ongoing construction, landscaping, or other soil disturbing activities within the community (watershed), it is imperative that appropriate erosion control measures are in place to prevent sediment in these areas from washing into the storm water system and ultimately into the lake or pond to which that storm water flows.

Even with all of the above mentioned practices, most storm water retention ponds experience nutrient loading that exceeds Mother Nature’s ability to handle. Therefore, experienced¬†managers will incorporate a pond aeration system and the use of various microbial products to help restore and maintain these ponds in an ecologically balanced state.

Stormwater ponds are a valuable tool in the filtration of rain water as it flows from our communities into streams, rivers, bays, and oceans. Proper stewardship and management of these ponds is imperative to this mission, not to mention an aesthetic necessity for the community.

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Since 1998, SOLitude Lake Management has been committed to providing full service lake and pond management services that improve water quality, preserve natural resources, and reduce our environmental footprint. Services are available throughout the Eastern United States. Fisheries management consulting and aquatic products are available nationwide. Learn more about SOLitude Lake Management and purchase products at

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