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7 Tips to Prevent Harmful Algal Blooms in Your Community’s Waterbodies

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Aug 14, 2018

Harmful-Algal-Bloom_SOLitude-Lake-Management-818907-edited

The summer season means warmth, sunshine and long days to enjoy swimming, boating, fishing, and spending time around the water. Unfortunately for many communities, the warm weather can also promote the growth of pond algae in lakes and ponds used for recreation and drinking water. In community waterbodies, moderate amounts of algae can often signify the waterbody is in good health, but excess algae levels may indicate that the natural balance of the ecosystem has been compromised. Without swift and proper management, certain species of algae, like cyanobacteria, can begin producing harmful toxins.

Following exposure or digestion of these toxins, humans and animals can experience skin rashes, liver and kidney toxicity, nervous system problems, respiratory complications and even death. Exposure to cyanobacteria also has suspected links to degenerative diseases like ALS, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

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Topics: Aquatic Weeds and Algae, Pond Management Best Practices

Fertilizer in Your Pond: Managing Nutrients to Change the Game

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Aug 01, 2018

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Written by Industry Expert Matthew Ward, Fisheries Biologist

If you own or manage a body of water long enough, you will experience invasive vegetation and algae growth. This growth can be associated with bad smells and dead fish, converting an otherwise pristine waterbody into an ugly mess. Often, a manager’s first reaction is to identify the intruder, apply a fast-acting herbicide/algaecide and wash their hands of the matter. This strategy may work for a while, but unfortunately, growth returns time after time. Managers can eventually enter a cycle where the frequency and severity of invasive growth begins to climb out of control along with expenses. Enter Integrated Pest Management (IPM). IPM considers biological, mechanical and chemical controls alongside adjustments in cultural practices, enabling us to treat the problem, not just the symptoms.

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Topics: Water Quality/Nutrient Remediation, Aquatic Weeds and Algae, Pond Management Best Practices

6 Tips to Reduce Nuisance Mosquitoes & Disease in Your Community

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Jul 02, 2018

Mosquitoes

Summer is typically the time when communities, associations and property owners get the most out of their lakes, ponds and wetland ecosystems, but pesky mosquitoes can interrupt recreational activities and overall enjoyment of the outdoors. In addition to being a nuisance, mosquitoes can carry debilitating diseases, including Zika, Eastern Equine Encephalitis and West Nile Virus, which is the most widespread and deadly, reported in 47 states and claiming more than 100 lives last year. Though mainstream media attention has shifted away from mosquito-borne diseases since the Zika scare of 2015-16, these viruses are still transmitted throughout the country.

"Mosquitoes are a threat to communities in many ways” SOLitude Lake Management’s President Marc Bellaud said. “It’s critical for municipalities, landowners and associations to understand and implement preventative management strategies that are effective and well as safe for residents and the environment.”

To protect community members and limit mosquitoes around your waterbody this summer, SOLitude Lake Management recommends the following preventative tips:

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Topics: Pond Management Best Practices, Mosquito and Pest Control

Use Water Quality Testing to Customize Your Lake Management Strategy

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Jun 11, 2018

Water Quality Monitoring

Written by Industry Expert Trent Nelson, Business Development Consultant & Aquatic Specialist

Everyone has heard the adage that no two snowflakes are the same, but did you know this truth also applies to your waterbody? No two lakes or ponds are the same—and location, size, water use, aquatic vegetation coverage and type, pond nutrient levels and water depth are all factors that can coincide in unique ways to influence the health of your waterbody. Oftentimes, odor and water color can reveal a lot, however, the unique characteristics of a lake or pond are not always this simple to observe. A professional lake manager tests water quality to capture and analyze the unique attributes that make up your waterbody and uses the data to create a totally customized lake or pond management plan. Many different parameters can be tested, but the basic values are pH, alkalinity, conductivity, dissolved oxygen, water temperature and nutrient levels. These parameters are of particular importance because they can help identify problem areas and significantly influence or help shape a management plan.

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Topics: Water Quality/Nutrient Remediation, Pond Management Best Practices

Stormwater Management in HOAs and Community Associations

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   May 17, 2018

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AS SEEN IN WMCCAI May 2018 issue of Quorum Magazine: Written by Industry Expert Shannon Junior, Aquatic Ecologist 

For Community Managers, adding a new property to the portfolio can be both exciting and stressful. Ideally, the community will have an experienced Board that gets along well and supports a common agenda. The developer or the previous management company will have kept adequate, organized records, and the transition to new management will go very smoothly and will include all of the pertinent documents. Or . . .

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Topics: Pond Management Best Practices, Stormwater BMPs

The Algae Triangle: Managing Nuisance Pond Algae Without Algaecides

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   May 14, 2018

Algae Triangle

Written by Industry Expert Gavin Ferris, Ecologist 

I frequently use herbicides and algaecides in my line of work. Having attended college and graduate school to be an Ecologist, it isn’t something I thought I would do very often, but with the frequency of environmental problems that involve invasive flora, nuisance aquatic weeds and potentially-toxic algae, EPA-registered herbicides and algaecides are an invaluable tool. There are, however, times when their use is impractical, imprudent, illegal or impossible. Maybe the HOA or property manager prefers that herbicides not be applied to nearby waters. Perhaps the regulatory bodies in a given area aren’t permitting the use of certain products. Whatever the reason, sometimes this option just isn’t on the table. But how do we effectively manage algae and aquatic weeds without herbicides and algaecides?

I employ a simple concept that I call the algae triangle, though it works for all forms of vegetation.

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Topics: Aquatic Weeds and Algae, Pond Management Best Practices

Best Practices for the Management of Mosquitoes in Your Community

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Apr 23, 2018

Mosquito Management

What comes to mind when you think of warm weather? Maybe a nice, relaxing day on the beach or lake? Or maybe it’s the reminder that pesky bugs will be making their comeback for the summer. Out of all the little annoyances, mosquitoes are often considered the worst. In addition to being annoying, mosquitoes pose a serious threat to public health, as they transmit dangerous diseases like Zika and West Nile Virus. Luckily, there are several management strategies to help prevent mosquitoes from bugging you this summer. So, put down the citronella candle and take notes on how you can protect yourself from these pesky intruders.

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Topics: Pond Management Best Practices, Mosquito and Pest Control

SOLitude's 6-Step Guide for Proper Stormwater Pond Management

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Apr 17, 2018

Floating Fountain

Written by Industry Expert Kyle Finerfrock, Environmental Scientist

You may not realize it, but if you live in a heavily-populated area, most waterbodies you see are man-made. While they often provide aesthetic beauty and serve as a small habitat for birds and fish, they are primarily designed to collect stormwater and capture pollutants during rain events. Without these stormwater ponds in place, our communities would suffer from increased flooding, erosion and nutrient pollution. This is why it is critically important to ensure your stormwater pond is functioning properly at all times. Practicing the following proactive management strategies will go a long way in keeping your pond in peak condition:

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Topics: Pond Management Best Practices, Stormwater BMPs

Have You Considered Hydro-raking as an Aquatic Management Tool?

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Apr 05, 2018

Hydro-raking

Written by Industry Expert Emily Walsh, Environmental Scientist 

If you own or manage a lake or pond, you’ve likely heard of hydro-raking as a unique management tool utilized by aquatic professionals to remove aquatic vegetation. A hydro-rake is essentially a floating barge supporting a mounted backhoe and rake attachment that can remove up to 500 pounds of lake and pond muck, aquatic plant material and organic debris in a single scoop.

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Topics: Aquatic Weeds and Algae, Pond Management Best Practices

Eco-friendly Solutions for Maintaining a Beautiful, Balanced Waterbody

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Mar 29, 2018

Aeration

Written by Industry Expert Erin Stewart, Aquatic Biologist & Regional Leader 

When it comes to the management of a lake or pond, many people look for natural and environmentally friendly options. There are, in fact, many eco-friendly solutions that can be used to help improve aquatic environments. And these strategies are often employed as part of a proactive lake and pond management program.

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Topics: Pond Management Best Practices, Aeration

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