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    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 Pond Management Articles of 2020

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Nov 09, 2020

    branded video gif for enews_redo

    The days have been slow, but the year has gone by fast! As we round out 2020, let’s take a look at the year’s most popular educational articles. Take a peek (or refresh your memory) with our top five, which cover all things aeration, toxic algae, shoreline erosion and the importance of lakes and ponds during the current pandemic. If you want to learn more interesting facts about your lakes and ponds, subscribe to our blog!

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

    Back to Basics: Nanobubbles vs. Fountains vs. Aeration

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Sep 10, 2020

    nanobubbles vs. fountains. aeration

    AS SEEN IN Community Association Institute (CAI) Pennsylvania and Delaware Valley.

    Oxygen is essential to life, including the desirable life that lives below the surface of our lakes and ponds. When pollution, invasive aquatic weed growth and nuisance algae blooms cover the surface of the water, this prevents dissolved oxygen, or DO, from reaching the areas that need it. The result—poor water quality, bad odors, bottom muck, massive fish kills and potentially deadly toxic algae blooms.

    Luckily, several lake and pond aeration solutions are available to naturally correct imbalanced DO conditions—each with their own unique benefits and limitations:

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    Topics: Water Quality/Nutrient Remediation, Aeration

    Back to Basics: Consider the Rule of Three to Restore Balance

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Aug 28, 2020

    water quality testing

    Written by Erin Stewart, Aquatic Biologist & Regional Manager and Katelyn Behounek, Aquatic Biologist

    When developing a management plan for a lake or pond, it is important to keep its purpose and priorities in mind. Is it strictly aesthetic? Is it used for fishing or recreation? Maybe it facilitates irrigation, drinking water, fire suppression or stormwater collection? An effective freshwater management program can be compared to the importance of each leg on a “three-legged stool.” Just like the legs supporting the stool, many water resources are interdependent, meaning that the actions taken in the watershed could cause imbalances that have negative consequences downstream.

    Think of each “leg” of this metaphorical three-legged stool as representative of the (1) physical, (2) chemical, and (3) biological components of a freshwater resource. If one part of this trinity breaks down, the others will follow. To ensure each of these aspects is protected, it’s important to understand the ways in which they contribute to the health of a waterbody and how to identify imbalances when they arise.

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

    The State of Applied Lake Management: An Expert's Perspective

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Aug 18, 2020

    Stormwater Pond_SOLitude Lake Management-1

    Written by industry expert Marc Bellaud, Director of Technical Services

    lakeline magazineAs seen in Lakeline Magazine, a publication of the North America Lake Management Society (NALMS). NALMS' mission is to forge partnerships among citizens, scientists, and professionals to foster the management and protection of lakes and reservoirs for today and tomorrow. Founded in Portland, Maine in 1980, this organization has grown into one of the largest societies in the lake and pond industry.

     

    Similar to what has occurred with technology, the science of applied lake management has evolved considerably over the past three decades. This evolution has occurred partly because of scientific advancements and partly out of need. Pressures from continued development, agricultural practices, climate change, greater recreational usage and increasing water demands are adversely impacting lakes at an accelerated rate. Fortunately, there is greater awareness of the challenges, and applied lake managers now have more tools at their disposal than ever before.

    Lake management needs and solutions vary considerably depending on the type of waterbody, its uses, geographic location and the particular challenges it is facing. Many of the old axioms remain true. First, every lake and pond is different. This needs to be taken into account as lake management plans are being developed. Assessment, monitoring and even permitting requirements must be appropriate for the size and type of waterbody, and for the management strategy being proposed. Second, prevention is the most effective form of management. No one can dispute the concept that preventing a highly invasive aquatic plant like hydrilla from being introduced to a lake is more preferable than trying to manage it once it’s established, or that eliminating nutrient sources in the watershed is better than trying to control harmful algal blooms (HABs) once they develop in a nutrient-rich system. However, the unfortunate reality is many of our lakes have already been adversely impacted, and in-lake management is often needed to preserve desirable conditions and to prevent further deterioration.

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

    How Data Collection Helps Build Successful Management Plans

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Aug 13, 2020

    water quality data collection

    Lake, stormwater pond, wetland and fisheries management is a complex field full of surprising puzzles and never-ending challenges. Effective management of our water resources depends on many different factors, making it critically important to understand the unique characteristics of your waterbody and identify how these elements can change over time. This is where data comes in. Modern tools and technologies have enabled freshwater management scientists to gain deeper insights into the unique physical, chemical and biological components in your waterbody and make more informed decisions about your management approach.

    There are many different data gathering tools; some of the most widely-used are water quality assessments, bathymetric mapping and electrofishing. Your lake management professional may utilize some or all of these methods depending on your goals and budget. Each method provides vital information that simply cannot be determined with visual inspections.

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    Topics: Water Quality/Nutrient Remediation, Fisheries Management, Lake Mapping and Bathymetry

    Managing a Rare Algae Species By Improving Water Quality

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Jul 30, 2020

    nutrient remediation

    Written by Robert Truax, Environmental Scientist

    This property is a community located in the greater Scottsdale, AZ area. The community lies within the Indian Bend Wash, an oasis of parks, waterbodies, paths and golf courses traversing 11 miles through the heart of Scottsdale. As a master planned community, it boasts and demands a premium level of quality in every facet of community life, including the 10 lakes and ponds that are encompassed by the property.

    In recent years, a three-lake system on the property had been plagued by a rare form of algae called Botryococcus braunii. These particular algae out-compete other algae species by altering surrounding bacteria to benefit itself, while using available phosphorus to replicate in high numbers. The result of the bloom is an oil-like slick on the surface of the water that is caused by the high amounts of hydrocarbons that the algae produces. This can be quite disturbing and foul smelling to local residents. Blooms such as these can also be detrimental to surrounding fish populations and other aquatic species.

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

    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