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    Nutrient Loading May be Fueling Toxic Algae in Your Community

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Jun 24, 2020

    toxic algae

    Written by industry expert Marc Bellaud, President

    Is it alarmist to refer to nutrient loading as a growing dilemma that is threatening our waterways? Not if you work in the lake and pond management industry or have a passion for preserving our aquatic resources. As an Aquatic Biologist who has managed water resources for more than 25 years, I firmly believe nutrient loading is a rising crisis that needs to be dealt with on a national and global scale.

    Almost daily, we see news headlines broadcasting dangerous cyanobacteria blooms, red tides, dead zones and algal toxins that degrade water quality, spur massive fish kills and threaten human health. These Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) are fueled by nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus, which enter waterways through stormwater runoff that emerges from livestock facilities, agricultural farms, urban developments, and incidents of excess wastewater discharge.

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

    6 Tips to Protect Your Community from Deadly Toxic Algae

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Apr 16, 2020

    Toxic Alga

    Though coronavirus currently dominates news headlines, another dangerous threat is growing. Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) become more abundant in our community lakes, ponds and drinking water reservoirs each year as temperatures rise over the spring and summer. In addition to causing skin rashes, liver and kidney damage, nervous system problems, and respiratory complications, the toxins produced by these blooms have suspected links to neurodegenerative diseases like ALS, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Livestock and pets can also die after ingesting or becoming exposed to algal toxins. 

    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 keep your community waterbodies safe and available for enjoyment during this time of social distancing, SOLitude recommends the following sustainable tips:

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

    SOLitude and BioSafe Systems Improve Pond with Organic Management Tool

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Mar 03, 2020

    A Florida community in the Greater Tampa area is home to a bird rookery, giving it an up close look at the unique species that call the property home. Wood storks, great egrets, snowy egrets, great blue herons and white ibis are enjoyed by residents and local bird watchers alike. However, this exciting window into nature is accompanied by a severe nutrient loading problem. Over the years, watershed inputs, recurring bird feedings, and bird droppings from the trees above the 2-acre community pond have created imbalanced water quality conditions that support the growth of unrelenting algae and cyanobacteria blooms. In addition to causing an eyesore, these harmful blooms are known to create toxins that can threaten the rare wildlife and endanger the health of community members.

    The bird species that live on the property are protected, making long-term management of the undesirable blooms a challenge. The community chooses to avoid many traditional solutions to ensure the natural characteristics of the ecosystem are maintained year-round. Often, this commitment means sacrificing the aesthetic beauty of the property. However, in 2019, SOLitude Lake Management introduced an alternative option to the community - one that aligns with the environmental principles of the residents while also nurturing the health and appearance of the aquatic environment.

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

    Top 10 Pond Management Articles of 2019... Hint, #1 is Slimy & Toxic!

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Jan 07, 2020

    blog-top-articles

    That's a wrap! What a year it has been. In honor of the new year, we gathered all of our educational articles and picked the top 10 most-viewed of 2019. Read our most popular articles covering toxic algae, aquatic weed control, fisheries and wildlife management and new innovations and technologies.

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

    Benefits of Professional, In-House Water Quality Testing Labs

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Dec 10, 2019

    water quality lab

    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

    dock

    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

    Virginia Beach (5)-1

    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

    Hydro-rake-1

    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

    Golf-1

    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

    Holding down the fort_CloudsandDog_Timberlake_ColumbiaMissouri_BrentW_05-2016-1-1

    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