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How Does Road Salt Affect the Environment?

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Feb 04, 2019

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Written by Industry Expert Emily Mayer, Aquatic Biologist 

Each winter season, municipalities stock up on salt to battle icy roads across the country. Every year during these harsh snow days, an estimated 22 million tons of de-icing salt is applied to major roads and highways throughout the U.S. As snow and ice melt, these road salts then enter our freshwater lakes, ponds and waterways through stormwater runoff. So, what are the environmental effects of road salt on our freshwater resources?

According to developing studies conducted by the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, scientists predict that within the next 50 years, our lakes and ponds are susceptible to becoming

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Topics: Seasonal Pond Tips, Pond Management Best Practices

5 Questions to Ask When Setting Long-term Lake & Pond Management Goals

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Jan 08, 2019

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Written by Industry Expert J. Wesley Allen, Environmental Scientist & Regional Leader

Winter seems to be the time of year that we all think about goals. Whether it’s assessing how successful we were at achieving previously made goals or setting new milestones to achieve, the long cold nights seem to make us all reflect a little more. This time of year is also perfect for evaluating and setting long-term goals for lakes, ponds, and stormwater facilities. As aquatic resource management consultants, these goals are critical to deciding the who, what, when, where, why and how of managing each client’s waterbody.

Setting and exceeding long-term goals for freshwater resources requires the understanding and discussion of many factors. Each waterbody is unique, and each client is unique. In order not to get lost, focusing on the following five factors can make your goals measurable and, ultimately, achievable:

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Topics: Seasonal Pond Tips, Pond Management Best Practices

Freezing Temps? A De-icer Can Help Protect Your Pond

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Jan 02, 2019

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Written by Industry Expert Joe Holz, International Sales Manager at Kasco Marine

The winter season is here, but that doesn’t mean you can’t utilize and enjoy your waterbody. If you live in a region that experiences freezing temperatures, it’s worth considering a de-icer to help protect docks and fountain equipment, and keep water open for increased winter safety and oxygenation benefits. Never heard of a de-icer? Below are some common uses. 

Kasco de-icers are known for their quality, durability and effectiveness and provide the best performance in ice prevention and property protection. 

Shallow Water De-icing

A de-icer helps prevent pond ice formation throughout the winter by bringing warmer, denser water from the bottom of a waterbody upward to the surface. By positioning a de-icer near the area of greatest depth and mounting it to angle back toward the targeted areas of your waterbody, you can successfully circulate the warmer water in to shallower areas. To do this in tidal waters, you will need to split the difference in water depth, so the de-icer is in shallow water at low tide and deep water at high tide. Another option is to tie your de-icer to a boat or floating dock and allow the boat/dock and de-icer to rise and fall with the tide.

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Topics: Pond Management Best Practices, Seasonal Pond Tips

Bathymetric Mapping: An Overlooked Component of Lake Management

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Dec 13, 2018

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Written by Industry Expert Matthew Salem, Permit Coordinator and GIS Specialist

As we power through the holidays, it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle. But before we enter the new year, it’s important to reflect upon our successes and make plans to achieve bigger and better goals. If you own or manage a lake or pond, your goals may include improving aesthetics, enhancing water quality and strengthening the health of your aquatic ecosystem. While many of the strategies used to achieve these goals are implemented in the spring and summer, it’s never too early to get started. In fact, one beneficial and often overlooked tool is lake mapping—and now is the perfect time of year to utilize it!

What is lake mapping?

Lake mapping, or bathymetry, involves the measurements of water depth, volume and amount of collected sediment on the bottom of a waterbody. These parameters can reveal quite a lot about

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Topics: Lake Mapping and Bathymetry, Pond Management Best Practices

Which Dredging or Sediment Removal Option Is Best for My Waterbody?

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Nov 14, 2018

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Written by Industry Expert Lance Dohman, Regional Manager 

Virtually all explanations of dredging include the physical scooping up of underwater sand and clay sediments to enhance a merchant ship’s access to a port or waterway. If these waterways become inaccessible, the economic consequences are far reaching.

Today, however, massive algal blooms, animal fatalities from toxic byproducts of algae and the spread of invasive plants and animals are sharing the front-page news with national economic interests. For those of us living on a waterbody, it’s clear that our personal economic interests are rewarded via higher property values if the nearby water is both navigable and healthy. As a waterbody ages and becomes “silted-in,” organic nutrients fuel invasive plant and algae growth, and property owners suffer the consequences of bright green water, fish kills and dangerous swimming conditions. Unfortunately, the solution to these rampant biological problems involves

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Topics: Pond Management Best Practices, Aquatics in Brief Newsletters

The Importance of Understanding Your Watershed

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Oct 25, 2018

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Written by Industry Expert Greg Blackham, Aquatic Specialist

Did you know that everyone on this planet lives in a watershed? A watershed, defined, is any amount of land that collects water through precipitation and transports it to a common outlet. That common outlet could be a stream, river, reservoir, lake or even a large bay like the Chesapeake Bay. A watershed is simply a term used to describe a transitional downhill area that water collects and flows through to reach its destination, including groundwater. The topography of the land, through elevated ridges, outlines the edge of each watershed, and small sub-watersheds can combine to form larger watersheds. Everything we do affects our watershed and our watershed affects the quality of all life within it and beyond, which makes it critically important to understand our impact on surrounding freshwater ecosystems.

Water traveling through the watershed is altered in numerous ways throughout its journey. Surface runoff, creeks and ditches pick up all types of organic and inorganic materials. Harmful

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

What Exactly Is Stormwater Runoff?

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Oct 09, 2018

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Written by Industry Expert Jason Luce, Lake Management Scientist

Have you ever wondered what happens to a single drop of water when it rains? Depending upon where you live, that drop of water may land on the ground and seep into the soil or it may land on a leaf and evaporate back into the atmosphere. But, if you live in a developed area such as a city or HOA community, the fate of that droplet of water may be a rooftop, sidewalk or road and eventually a lake or stormwater pond. As development increases, so does stormwater runoff. Stormwater runoff is the portion of rainfall or snowmelt that “runs off” the landscape instead of seeping into the ground. When managed incorrectly, stormwater runoff can become a major problem.

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Topics: Stormwater BMPs, Pond Management Best Practices

Misconceptions About Lake & Pond Nutrients

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Oct 01, 2018

Lake Management

Written by Erin Stewart, Territory Leader & Aquatic Biologist

Nutrients are required for all living things to survive. They are metabolized for energy or fuel so organisms can develop and grow. The nutrients humans and animals need are provided by the food we eat. When food is consumed and digested, it provides the fuel to synthesize or produce direct energy. Similarly, plants take up the nutrients they need from soil and the atmosphere through roots and leaves. In lakes and ponds, these nutrients are found suspended in the water and within bottom sediments. Aquatic plants absorb nutrients through roots down in the sediments or leaves. Submerged plants also absorb (CO2) from the water and sunlight that penetrates below the water surface.

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Topics: Pond Management Best Practices, Aquatic Weeds and Algae

Hydro-raking 101: FAQs About Restoring Water & Prolonging Dredging

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Sep 25, 2018

Hydro-rake

Everything ages with time. When it comes to your lake or pond, time can take a toll on its health and functionality. Over the lifespan of your waterbody, sediment and organic matter will accumulate, nuisance plants will flourish, water quality will diminish and water depth will decrease. Luckily, you can reverse the aging process and help restore your waterbody back to health with one environmentally-friendly management tool: hydro-raking.

Are you curious whether this is the management solution for you? Below are some of the most popular questions from our recent hydro-raking webinar hosted by industry experts Joe Onorato, Aquatic Specialist & Business Development Consultant; Jeff Castellani, Director of Mechanical Operations and Keith Gazaille, Aquatic Ecologist & Director of Lake Management for the North and Mid-Atlantic.

If you missed the webinar, you can watch a full recording here


Is hydro-raking a good option for removing the following aquatic plants: milfoil, waterlilies, cattails and hydrilla?

Like any other aquatic plant management technique, there are situations that favor or limit the use of hydro-raking as an effective tool. It’s important

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Topics: Aquatic Weeds and Algae, Pond Management Best Practices

FAPQ: Frequently Asked Pond Questions

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Aug 27, 2018

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Whether your waterbody is a stormwater management facility constructed for nutrient removal and flood mitigation, an irrigation or livestock pond, or an amenity feature created for recreation, there are many ecological problems that can affect the health and appearance of the pond and its suitability for the intended water use. Below are answers to some commonly asked questions about pond and lake management.

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

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