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    Benefits of Professional, In-House Water Quality Testing Labs

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Dec 10, 2019

    Lab-1

    Written by Sam Sardes, Laboratory Manager and Weed Science Director

    If you were sick, would you perform an at-home blood test or would you count on an experienced medical professional? Most of us would choose the expertise of a doctor or nurse. Water quality testing should be viewed in the same vein.

    Picturesque lakes and ponds don’t occur by accident. In most cases, they are the result of rigorous, comprehensive aquatic management plans. And water quality testing is often considered the backbone of these successful programs. Like a blood sample, water quality testing can reveal a plethora of information about the status of a waterbody, which can be used to diagnose problems and design custom solutions.

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

    Fisheries Management: Water Quality Woes

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Nov 25, 2019

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    AS SEEN IN Pond Boss: Written by Fisheries Biologist David Beasley

    One of the most amazing attributes of water is its ability to provide people with a sense of happiness. Regardless of upbringing, nearly all of us have something to gain in life by having access to a recreational lake or pond. Some people find enjoyment being surrounded by crystal clear water—the type of environment that entices people of all ages to jump in. Others find greater happiness with fertile, emerald water teeming with life as they spend hours trying to outsmart and entice hearty fish thriving beneath the surface. Likewise, there are some people who have a passion for waterbodies choked out with invasive vegetation, attracting a wide range of waterfowl with an all you can eat buffet.

    Although lakes and ponds have a variety of water uses, each waterbody has natural characteristics and water quality that determine its clarity, vegetation coverage, productivity, and a plethora of biological and chemical influences. Water quality is a primary factor that determines how much effort it will take to transform and maintain the waterbody to meet your goals. As a result, a strategic plan for monitoring and manipulating water quality should be at the center of nearly all aquatic management strategies. 

    After all, water is the medium. If your water isn’t healthy, your pond can’t be, either. If your waterbody is not meeting your aesthetic or recreational needs, it is fair to say that altering the water chemistry will likely increase the chances of success.

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    Topics: Water Quality/Nutrient Remediation, Fisheries Management, Fisheries Projects, Published Articles

    The Pond Management “Do-It-Yourself” Dilemma

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Oct 15, 2019

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    AS SEEN IN Community Manager, a publication of Community Associations Institute (CAI). Reprinted with permission. Written by Gavin Ferris, Ecologist 

    Pond management experts are rarely asked to visit a lake or stormwater pond that is in good health. Though it is not a responsible practice, many property managers don’t call us until significant water quality problems have already appeared. I remember the first pond I was called to in my early days as a pond management professional. A neighborhood association was not able to host their annual fishing tournament because their 5-acre pond was completely covered in thick green filamentous algae. When I arrived, the first thing I noticed was a dozen bales of barley straw bobbing in the green slime. I’ve since had many clients tell me they tried this folk remedy for pond algae, but I’ve never seen it work.

    In the years following that first site visit, I’ve seen lots of homegrown pond management efforts. Sometimes a jug of algaecide from the local farm store or manual removal of the offending vegetation is all that’s called for. But many times, these “do-it-yourself” (DIY) solutions go horribly wrong—and we get called in after a major fish kill or another avoidable catastrophe as a result.

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

    Harvesting or Hydro-raking... Which Mechanical Solution Is Best?

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Sep 29, 2019

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    Written by Industry Expert Jeff Castellani, Director of Mechanical Operations

    Rarely is there one specific remedy for the restoration of a waterbody. Restoration often requires a multiyear management program encompassing a combination of aquatic management tools and techniques, such as herbicide and algaecide treatments, nutrient remediation, aeration and biological augmentation. Mechanical removal is an additional management method that may be incorporated into a restoration program, and has a number of ecological benefits including nutrient mitigation, water circulation and open water habitat restoration.

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    Topics: Water Quality/Nutrient Remediation, Aquatic Weeds and Algae

    New Innovative Solutions in Your Lake Manager’s ‘Toolbox’

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Sep 19, 2019

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    AS SEEN IN Turf Magazine: Written by Shannon Junior, Ecologist

    Herbicides and algaecides have traditionally been used to maintain balanced ecosystems in lakes and ponds—but wouldn’t it be exciting if there was a new technology or process that could totally revolutionize the way we approach environmental problems in our communities? Industry leaders have long understood that proactive, holistic management strategies are the key to achieve long-term balance in our aquatic environments; however, our toolbox of sustainable lake management solutions has not always grown at the same pace as our knowledge. That’s why we are so excited about recent advances in aquatic habitat restoration.

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    Topics: Water Quality/Nutrient Remediation, Aquatic Weeds and Algae, Invasive Species, Published Articles

    7 Tips to Help Protect Your Family & Pets From Dangerous Toxic Algae

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Aug 13, 2019

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    Over the weekend, there were several cases reported of dogs passing away after swimming in lakes and ponds containing toxic algae. Though public knowledge about Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) is increasing, many remain unaware of the dangerous effects HABs can have on pets, wildlife and humans. Common experiences include skin rashes, liver and kidney toxicity, nervous system problems, and respiratory complications. In more severe cases, exposure or digestion of these toxins can be deadly and has suspected links to degenerative diseases like ALS, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

    Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) can occur naturally, but have been a problem for decades due to the negative environmental impacts associated with urban development, mass agriculture and pollution. To help limit the growth of HABs in your community waterbodies, SOLitude Lake Management®, an industry leader in lake, stormwater pond, wetland and fisheries management services, recommends the following sustainable tips to homeowners, golf courses and municipalities:

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    Topics: Water Quality/Nutrient Remediation, Aquatic Weeds and Algae

    Harmful Algal Blooms May Cause Summer Lake Closures

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Aug 08, 2019

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    Sometimes you get sick. Did you know your lake can too? You may stumble upon a “closed” sign at your favorite spot on the water and wonder why is my lake closed? Just as you can get sick if you fail to properly take care of yourself, it’s also possible for your lake or pond’s health to suffer without proper management, requiring swimming, fishing and other recreation to be put on hold while water quality is restored.

    One of the most common reasons your waterbody may be closed is the presence of certain algal species. While many forms of algae are harmless, certain species known as cyanobacteria (often referred to as blue-green algae) may develop. If left unmanaged, these harmful algal blooms (HABs) can become so severe that they produce toxins that are harmful to wildlife, livestock, pets and public health. Suitable conditions that encourage these HABs include: warm water temperatures, increased pH levels, stagnant water, an abundance of light exposure and excessive nutrient levels. Environmental scientists are still learning about the specific effects of toxin exposure, but evidence suggests harmful algal bloom toxins may lead to the development of neurological, physiological and respiratory problems—and, in extreme cases, even death.

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    Topics: Water Quality/Nutrient Remediation, Aquatic Weeds and Algae

    What We Can Learn from the Worst Algae Catastrophes in History

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Jul 10, 2019

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    Written by Greg Blackham, Aquatic Specialist

    Cyanobacteria, often referred to as blue-green algae, are changing the way providers of green consulting services approach algae management in lakes and ponds. Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) treatments reached an all-time high in 2018. HABs have the potential to be highly toxic and can severely impact the health and wellbeing of all nearby humans, pets and wildlife. The devastating effects of harmful algal blooms have been witnessed repeatedly throughout the US over the past 10 years. There is no area of the country that is safe from threat of HABs, as two recent catastrophes from very different parts of the country show us. We can, however, learn from these natural ecological disasters and implement proactive lake management strategies to help avoid them in the future.

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    Topics: Water Quality/Nutrient Remediation, Aquatic Weeds and Algae

    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

    A Technological Break-Through in Sustainable Lake Management

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   May 21, 2019

    Nanobubbles - SOLitude

    Written by Industry Expert Bo Burns, Biologist & Market Development Manager

    Algae: it comes in many forms and colors. It’s slimy, stinky and can ruin the beauty and function of your golf course lakes and irrigation systems. It’s also one of the oldest known organisms on this planet, which might explain its knack for survival, even under the toughest conditions. Over time, golf courses and property management companies have learned to pick sides when it comes to the safe eradication of stubborn and harmful algal blooms—some in favor of natural management techniques; others in support of applying EPA-registered algaecides to ensure the job gets done. But this year, a new game changing technology will make the management of stubborn algae blooms a no-brainer with more long-lasting results that are beneficial for the environment.

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    Topics: Water Quality/Nutrient Remediation, Aquatic Weeds and Algae, Aeration