Golf Course Pond Management: Crystal Clear

July 5th, 2016

AS SEEN IN Golf Course Industry Magazine, June 2016: Written by Rob Thomas

Golf_Course_Pond._Evergreen_CountryClub._Haymarket_VA_HunterP_06.15_2_d.jpgSuperintendents are often required to develop an aquatic maintenance plan to care for their courses’ water features. Our experts provide valuable insight to turn you into a pond specialist.

To maintain an environmentally sound pond, Jim Skorulski, an agronomist with the USGA Green Section, suggests the prevention of nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) from entering the pond system. This is done by managing clippings, using buffers, preventing fertilizer applications and redirecting drain tiles if possible.

“Secondly, oxygenate the water column to improve water quality and support microbial activity and help reduce nutrient availability,” Skorulski says. “Third, remove nutrient sources or make nutrients unavailable to algae and plants in the pond, i.e. dredging sediments, using alum and other products that bind with nutrients. Fourth (not in importance), deepen the water column. Shallow ponds will always be problematic in regards to aquatic plants and algae.”

When coming up with a maintenance plan, many superintendents turn to pond specialists, such as David Ellison, aquatic biologist and regional director with SOLitude Lake Management, based in Virginia Beach, Va., who provides lake, pond and fisheries management services, consulting, and aquatic products nationwide.

Ellison agrees nutrient management should be the main focus when searching for best practices.

“Preventative measures such as aerating the waterbody and establishing beneficial vegetation and pond buffers to reduce nutrient loading are highly beneficial to overall pond health,” Ellison says. “These measures will often help in the uptake of nutrients and can help limit the amount of pesticides required for algae and aquatic weed control. Professional assessment will often allow for the staff at SOLitude to provide a prescription for the lake or pond to target the specific plant species in need of control.”

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Contact the experts at 888-480-5253 for all of your lake, pond and fisheries management needs. 

Reprinted with permission. Rob Thomas is a cleveland-based golf writer and freqent GCI contributor. 

David_Ellison_2015_web2.jpgDavid Ellison is an Aquatic Biologist and Regional Director for SOLitude Lake Management. SOLitude Lake Management is committed to providing full service lake and pond management services that improve water quality, preserve natural resources, and reduce our environmental footprint. Lake, pond and fisheries management services, consulting, and aquatic products are available nationwide. Learn more about SOLitude Lake Management and purchase products at

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