How do you test for water quality?
Spring is on the horizon — the sky is clear, the temperature is just right, and it’s the perfect day to spend by the water. But as you approach your waterbody, you’re met with cloudy water and a foul odor. Algae and aquatic weeds have overgrown in and around your lake, creating an unsightly appearance and making your recreational plans impossible.
Poor water quality can not only impact the use and functionality of your waterbody, but it can also affect the overall health of its environment. Testing pond water can go a long way to help diagnose hidden problems and prevent costly repairs down the line. With the data collected and the right pond maintenance plan in place, water quality can be improved and you can spend more time enjoying your lake or pond.
Water Quality Testing is Key
Some of the most common lake and pond issues can be traced back to an imbalance in water quality. As many property owners or managers have discovered, water quality testing is the key to preventative and restorative care. Understanding the chemical and biological demands of your waterbody can help aquatic experts diagnose and manage underlying issues. With routine water quality testing, our team can look beyond surface-level symptoms and identify the root cause of poor water quality issues like algae, aquatic weeds, foul odors, and cloudy water. Testing water quality should be the first step taken before implementing any lake or pond management solution.
How Pond Water Quality Tests Are Conducted
SOLitude’s team of aquatic scientists and experts offers professional pond water testing services to measure various water quality parameters. During the collection process, one of our aquatic specialists will take water samples and send them to a professional lab for analysis. The water samples are analyzed and the data from these tests are then used to determine which management solutions will help alleviate water quality issues in your lake or pond . Property owners or managers can expect to receive a detailed report and our experts will follow up to determine the next steps to achieve healthy water quality.
Lake and Pond Water Testing
Our team looks at several different parameters when performing chemical water quality tests and diagnosing a water quality issue. One of the first and most important parameters we evaluate is dissolved oxygen (DO). Lakes and ponds require sufficient DO levels to maintain balanced conditions. If DO becomes depleted, it can have far-reaching impacts on the entire food web, leading to loss of beneficial plant and animal life. Similarly, high levels of ammonia can make fish populations become lethargic and may even result in fish kills.
Testing for Phosphorus & Nitrogen
Another water quality testing parameter we evaluate is phosphorus. Like oxygen, phosphorus is an essential component of healthy aquatic ecosystems. However, in excess, phosphorus can promote nuisance weeds, algae, and toxic cyanobacteria (blue-green algae). High levels of nitrogen can also lead to nuisance plant and algae growth. In addition, testing alkalinity levels can help measure the functionality of your waterbody. When levels of alkalinity are low, dangerous pH swings can occur leading to life-threatening conditions for desirable aquatic plants and animals.
Once the appropriate parameters are measured, management solutions can be recommended to help you achieve a healthy, balanced waterbody.
Building an Annual Management Plan
Once we have comprehensive data from the water quality tests, our team of aquatic specialists can start to develop a holistic management plan tailored to your unique ecosystem. Our lake and pond management experts can utilize a variety of solutions to help remediate whatever problem your waterbody is suffering from.
To address the inflow of excess nutrients, lake management professionals may recommend repairing eroded shorelines and establishing a vegetative buffer to help filter phosphorus and nitrogen from stormwater runoff as it enters the water column. Lakes and ponds with low oxygen levels can benefit from pond aeration systems like floating fountains, surface aerators, or submersed aerators that help maintain a healthy balance of oxygen and ammonia. Other management tools such as nutrient remediation use Alum, Phoslock, or EutroSORB to remove excess nutrients in the water column.
In order to stay ahead of water quality imbalances, it’s important to give your lake or pond year-round care. With an annual management plan in place, you can relax knowing that a trained aquatic expert is monitoring your water and implementing the necessary management tools to keep your lake or pond balanced.
Stay Ahead of Water Quality Issues
Regular water quality testing and monitoring can be the difference between preventing water quality issues from developing and dealing with reactive management costs. During a lake consultation, our aquatic specialists can help diagnose problem areas and collect data to determine which management solutions are needed. Detecting imbalances in water quality before they develop into a bigger problem is essential for any pond management plan. Staying ahead of potential water quality issues ensures that you can enjoy your lake or pond all season long.
SOLitude Lake Management is a nationwide environmental firm committed to providing sustainable solutions that improve water quality, enhance beauty and preserve natural resources.
SOLitude’s team of aquatic scientists specializes in the development and execution of customized lake, stormwater pond, wetland and fisheries management programs. Services include water quality testing and restoration, algae and aquatic weed control, installation and maintenance of fountains and aeration systems, shoreline erosion control, muck and sediment removal and invasive species management. SOLitude partners with homeowners associations, golf courses, private landowners, businesses and municipalities. SOLitude Lake Management is part of Rentokil, a leading business services company, operating across the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.