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    Biochar: A Natural Solution to Safely Filter Excess Nutrients

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Jun 06, 2019

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    Written by Erin Stewart, Aquatic Biologist and Regional Manager, Colorado

    The use of biochar is an emerging technology in nutrient management. Nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen, in suitable quantities, are necessary for aquatic ecosystems to flourish. However, excess nutrients introduced to lakes and ponds through human impact, leaf debris and stormwater runoff can lead to the growth of nuisance plants and algae blooms. Restoring balance to a lake or pond plagued with water quality issues, or proactively preventing these issues, can be naturally achieved with the latest technology in nutrient management: biochar.

    Biochar is produced from wood products processed in a high heat, low oxygen environment to create a highly porous, carbon-rich substrate. The physical structure and ionic properties of the biochar creates an affinity to absorb contaminants. Independent laboratory testing of contaminated water has shown significant removal of nutrients, heavy metals, hydrocarbons, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and even suspended solids by the introduction of biochar.

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

    Citizen Scientists: Using Your Smartphone to Enhance Lake Stewardship

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   May 01, 2019

    Citizen Scientist - SOLitude

    Written by Amanda Mahaney, Freshwater Biologist

    Understanding water as a finite natural resource has defined a century long debate about how to use it, maintain it, preserve it and protect it. Yet, despite these efforts, water quality has continuously declined across the country. Urban development near waterbodies often imparts negative impacts, such as nutrient loading and the spread of nuisance or invasive species. In order to solve a problem, lake management professionals first diagnose and document it using established procedures, but with poor environmental conditions on the rise, scientists cannot be everywhere at once.

    Enter your smartphone. With

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    Topics: Aquatic Weeds and Algae, Pond Management Best Practices

    Water Quality Testing: A Balancing Act

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Apr 16, 2019

    Water Quality Testing - SOLitude

    AS SEEN IN Parks and Rec Business Magazine: Written by Trent Nelson, Aquatic Specialist and Business Development Consultant

    Most people have heard the adage that no two snowflakes are the same, but did you know this truth also applies to bodies of water? No two lakes or ponds are the same—and location, the size, water use, aquatic vegetation coverage and type, pond nutrient levels, and water depth are all factors that can combine in unique ways to influence the health of a community 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 determine the unique attributes that make up a waterbody and uses the data to create a totally customized lake or pond management plan. Many different and important parameters can be tested, but the basic values are pH, alkalinity, conductivity, dissolved oxygen, water temperature, and nutrient levels.

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

    Toxic Golden Algae and Fish Kills

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Mar 14, 2019

    Fish Kill - SOLitude Lake Management

    Written by Bob Revolinski, Aquatic Biologist and Regional Manager

    2019 marked the start of my 36th year in the lake management industry. It’s a career that is constantly evolving, due to the vast number of variables associated with aquatic ecosystems. Every now and then, a novel and completely unexpected problem or species will appear, requiring the implementation of new and adaptive lake management strategies. One of my strangest encounters occurred about 15 years ago in Arizona, when I came across golden algae (Prymnesium parvum) for the first time.

    Golden algae occur worldwide, but the first blooms identified in North America were confirmed in Texas in 1985. They arrived in Arizona around 2004 and then eventually appeared in California in 2013. In 2018, golden algae were reported in more than a dozen states!

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    Topics: Aquatic Weeds and Algae, Pond Management Best Practices

    Green Consulting Services: How to Naturally Manage Your Pond

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Mar 12, 2019

    Community associations HOA

    For homeowners or communities with waterbodies, the lake or pond is often the most tranquil facet of your property, and water quality is one of the most important aspects of a healthy ecosystem. If water quality is compromised, it often leads to unsightly conditions and an unbalanced aquatic ecosystem. Though herbicides and algaecides can be important tools to utilize when control is needed for Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) or invasive vegetation infestations, many property owners wish to avoid pesticide use around the home.

    Thankfully, environmental planning companies are constantly evolving their proactive management solutions. New techniques, equipment and technologies are making managing your pond easier and more cost-effective to implement:

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    Topics: Pond Management Best Practices, Seasonal Pond Tips

    Aquatic Weed Control: How to Get Rid of Pond Weeds

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Mar 05, 2019

    Community - SOLitude Lake Management

    Written by Fisheries & Wildlife Scientist Daniel Hood

    As a Fisheries and Wildlife Scientist who regularly travels to client properties, people often recognize me as an aquatic consultant at gas stations or while I’m parked getting lunch. Sometimes people will approach me to ask a question, and it tends to be the same one every time: “Hey, I have some weeds in my pond that have taken over in the past few years. What can I do to get rid of them?” It is a well-intentioned and welcome question, but often one which cannot be answered as quickly and simply as the inquirer expects. Aquatic weed control is a nuanced problem, and the best approach is usually influenced by many different variables. 

    Lake and pond management professionals generally refrain from making recommendations until they have a chance to conduct an official aquatic weed survey. An onsite evaluation is the most direct, effective way to identify important physical factors within the waterbody, determine potential problem species, and consider the management goals of the property owner or community. Each of these variables is equally important in its own regard and require a

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    Topics: Aquatic Weeds and Algae, Pond Management Best Practices

    Upland, Wetland & Aquatic Plants Every Turf Manager Should Know About

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Feb 26, 2019

    private-golf-course-lake-pond-management

    Written by Industry Expert David Riedl, Environmental Scientist

    Not only are turf managers responsible for the land, but quite often are tasked with overseeing the maintenance of the waterbodies on the property as well. Pond maintenance, in combination with turf management, opens the door to a plethora of issues most turf managers might not know how to address. However, simply knowing how to identify a few types of aquatic vegetation within a waterbody can help turf managers maintain a healthy property.

    Shoreline Vegetation 

    The first type of vegetation turf managers should be aware of is shoreline vegetation. A few notable examples can cause stress to turf managers.

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    Topics: Invasive Species, Pond Management Best Practices

    How Does Road Salt Affect the Environment?

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Feb 04, 2019

    SOLitude Lake Management_Floating Fountain_Winter_e

    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: Pond Management Best Practices, Seasonal Pond Tips

    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: Pond Management Best Practices, Seasonal Pond Tips

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

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Jan 02, 2019

    winter-is-coming-frozen-lake

    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