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    Back to Basics: Monitoring the Structure of Your Stormwater Pond

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Jan 19, 2021

    HOA Stormwater Pond Scenic

    Written by: Shannon Junior, Ecologist & Sr. Business Development Consultant

    Lakes and ponds can be amazing focal points of our communities. People are innately drawn to water, and local waterbodies create natural spaces to enjoy a morning run, an afternoon walk with the dog, or a neighborhood social event. Many communities that I work with have implemented beautification and habitat enhancement projects for their ponds, and some have even hosted kids fishing derbies or remote control boat races.

    But while maintaining healthy and attractive waterbodies is a priority for most HOAs, the basic structural and functional maintenance activities are frequently overlooked. It’s relatively easy for the average community manager or resident to identify when their stormwater pond is experiencing problems when it’s covered in weeds and algae or when the fish stop biting, but many of the tell-tale signs of structural trouble are more subtle and difficult to identify.

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    Topics: Regulatory Compliance, Stormwater BMPs

    5 Surprising Ways to Prolong Your Pond's Retirement

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Nov 19, 2020

    Beneficial Buffer - Fountain - Community Pond (16) - c

    Written by Gavin Ferris, Ecologist

    AS SEEN IN National Community Association Institute's (CAI) publication, Common Ground

    The very first fish I remember catching was a bullhead catfish. It was in a small pond in my grandparents’ HOA community that is still there today. Well, sort of. Though the pond had once been deep enough for fishing and stormwater collection, its depth is now best measured in inches rather than feet. The cattails that were once clustered near the outflow are now abundant throughout the pond. Today, the waterbody resembles the nearby wetland more than it does a pond. In the 55 years of its existence, no measures have ever been taken to mitigate against the natural process of succession.

    Lake and pond succession is the natural lifecycle of any waterbody. The very tributaries that supply a waterbody with its water also carry sediment, which over time accumulates and decreases the water depth. Aquatic weeds and nuisance vegetation decompose and create additional organic sediment. And the shallower the pond becomes, the more vegetation it produces—accelerating the aging process.

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

    Top 5 Rules for Pond Management

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Nov 04, 2020

    Park-and-Recreation-Lake-Management

    Written by Greg Blackham, Aquatic Specialist

    AS SEEN IN Parks and Rec Business publication.

    Whether you’ve recently stepped into a new role as a community manager or parks manager, or simply decided to turn more attention to the aesthetic needs of your facilities, there’s a good chance your responsibilities include overseeing a lake or stormwater pond. Maintaining a fully interactive aquatic ecosystem that is aesthetically pleasing, functional, and safe for the community can be daunting! Some choose to take this on “in-house” (either to cut down on costs or because they enjoy the challenge it brings) but it’s important to recognize possible complications and dangers that make professional intervention necessary.

    There’s no true “how-to” guide for the management of freshwater resources; each waterbody and the management challenges that come with it are completely unique. However, all lakes and ponds can benefit from proactive, sustainable management efforts. Here are some rules of thumb that every facilities manager can benefit from keeping in mind...

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    Topics: Pond Management Best Practices, Published Articles, Stormwater BMPs

    4 Hurricane Preparedness Tips for Your Stormwater Pond

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Sep 14, 2020

    storm safety tips for hurricanes

    According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), approximately 40% of the American population lives within coastal counties in 2015. This coincides with a 40% population increase in these same coastal counties from 1970 to 2010, in an area which makes up only 10% of the country’s total land mass. As anyone living along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts can tell you, populations have only continued to increase over the last five years. It is unsurprising then that a large concern of many homeowners in these areas is the threat of hurricanes and the associated damage.

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    Topics: Aeration, Stormwater BMPs

    Case Study: Shoreline Restoration With Erosion Control Technology

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Jan 21, 2020

    Industrial businesses can affect communities in very positive ways; however, there are exceptions. Certain business practices can have a negative environmental impact on our communities. This was the case for one Florida Keys community. Due to the actions of a nearby blasting company, 5-7 ft of their lake’s bank eroded away.

    Luckily, SOLitude Lake Management specializes in the restoration of eroded shorelines to prevent water quality issues from reoccurring. There are many benefits to implementing erosion control solutions, including filtering hazardous runoff, repairing potholes in the dirt, and immediately reclaiming lost property. And what’s unique about our strategy is that we utilize a bioengineered living shoreline, which is a healthier and more effective alternative than previous industry standards like cement bags or concrete.

    We applied these tools on our Florida Keys community. The first step in restoring their 1,850 ft shoreline involved removing floating mats of the invasive aquatic weeds growing 3-5 ft out around the entire shoreline. This included torpedograss, cattails, primrose and alligatorweed. Overgrown invasive species often indicate neglect and can inhibit the growth and prosperity of animals and plants in the native ecosystems.

    SOX Erosion Solutions, Before, During and After
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    Topics: Pond Management Best Practices, Buffer Management, Stormwater BMPs

    Case Study: Eradicating Invasive Floating Heart with ProcellaCOR

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Jan 14, 2020

    Before and After

    Controlling nuisance weeds and invasive pond plants can be challenging and, in many cases, herbicides are the most effective long-term solution. When properly applied by licensed professionals, EPA-registered herbicides can be invaluable tools for safe, fast and cost-effective aquatic plant management. A community was grateful for a new highly-selective herbicide option called ProcellaCOR after struggling for some time to control the invasive aquatic plant floating heart (Nymphoides cristata) in their Florida waterbody.

    This property in Florida is a collection of suburban residential homes surrounding a golf course located at the northern tip of the Everglades. Due to southeast Florida’s tropical climate and year-round growing season, many plants—both native and non-native—become invasive. This requires constant monitoring and management on the land and in the water. Algae and invasive water plants such as vallisneria (tape grass) and hydrilla are commonly managed by recurring herbicide treatments in order to maintain proper water flow and water quality health.

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    Topics: Aquatic Weeds and Algae, Stormwater BMPs

    6 Tips to Maximize the Efficiency of Your Stormwater Facility

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Nov 07, 2019

    Greg clearing outflow-3-1

    Written by Greg Blackham, Aquatic Specialist 

    As the growing season comes to an end, this is the perfect time to think about having your stormwater pond or management facility inspected, and scheduling for any necessary maintenance or repairs. Sediment removal, pipe repair and other remediation efforts can all be done in the off season to help you prepare the facility for the coming year. This is also the ideal time to budget for any work that is needed in the coming year. 

    Here are the top six things SOLitude’s aquatic management professionals consider when it comes to maximizing the efficiency of your stormwater management facility.

    #1: The strength and integrity of the outlet structure.
    It’s important to discover cracked concrete and other visible signs of damage as soon as possible. All grates should be cleaned and checked for debris and sediment blockage. If the facility has a low flow orifice, it needs to be free and open. The low flow orifice lets the water drain slowly after rain so that the suspended particles have time to settle. If the outlet structure has a concrete box, nothing should be present that may impede the flow of water. Signs of erosion should be checked for above where the structure meets the pipe. This is often an indicator of a gap in the seal and the beginning of a sinkhole.

    #2: Functionality of emergency spillways.
    In the event of heavy rainfall over a short period, debris can quickly block the outlet structure before anyone has a chance to clear it. An emergency

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    Topics: Pond Management Best Practices, Stormwater BMPs

    What Exactly Is Stormwater Runoff?

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Oct 09, 2018

    Spring_Scenic_Pond_Brook_Crossing_Coatsville_PA_04.15_JohnP_c-835486-edited

    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: Pond Management Best Practices, Stormwater BMPs

    Utilize Buffer Zones as a Preventative Pond Maintenance Tool

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Jun 04, 2018

    pickerelweed

    Written by Industry Expert Daniel Hood, Wildlife & Fisheries Scientist

    I have always been a fan of Benjamin Franklin’s saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Lake and pond management is a perfect example of this advice; preventing water quality problems at their source is often the most effective measure to help achieve long-term aquatic health. Community managers, golf course superintendents and private landowners interested in becoming more proactive in their maintenance approach may be intimidated by the many environmental variables and aquatic management strategies available to them. However, an easy and effective place to start is by creating and maintaining a shoreline buffer of native vegetation around their waterbody. 

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    Topics: Buffer Management, Stormwater BMPs

    Stormwater Management in HOAs and Community Associations

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   May 17, 2018

    community pond

    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