How to Choose the Right Lake Management Company
When stakeholders partner with a lake and pond management company they usually have two overarching goals: cultivate a beautiful, functional waterbody while doing so as quickly and cost-effectively as possible. Unfortunately, finding the right experts to accomplish this can be pretty confusing. With so many lake and pond management companies available, how do you know which one is the right fit?
Property managers, golf course superintendents, private property owners, and other stakeholders can empower themselves during the selection process by evaluating companies for a variety of factors that not only align with their budget and expectations but also their values. This guide can help you successfully navigate the process.
Just like no two waterbodies are the same, no two companies bring the exact same approach to lake and pond management. Before choosing a service provider, it’s important to understand how your budget will be used to achieve your goals.
The most effective approach is a proactive one. This means getting ahead of problems before they have a chance to manifest. Some professionals begin proactive management programs by gathering a wealth of information about the waterbody. This may include comprehensive water quality, bathymetry, and sedimentation data, among other details. This data can be used to create a tailored management plan to maintain balance in the aquatic ecosystem.
Proactive Management Approach
Proactive management is usually the most cost-effective way to keep lakes and ponds healthy, functional, and beautiful in the long run. It’s also more environmentally-friendly. A proactive approach leans on holistic solutions like aeration, biological bacteria, mechanical muck and weed removal, and natural nutrient remediation products.
As opposed to proactive strategies, reactive techniques offer immediate results. A reactive approach typically leans on fewer solutions. EPA-registered herbicides and algaecides are safe and effective when applied by licensed professionals, but the benefits can be short-lived. Reactive management is sometimes inevitable for properties that are starting a management program for the first time, but once water quality problems are under control, most reputable companies recommend proactive maintenance on an ongoing basis.
Access to Advanced Products & Technologies
The tools used in the lake and pond management industry have advanced significantly over the years. Companies with robust fleets and modern technologies are able to manage waterbodies more quickly, safely, and effectively than ever before. Lake management technologies and equipment include:
- Professional drones
- Bioengineered shorelines
- In-house laboratory
- Bathymetric mapping equipment
- Highly-targeted herbicides
- Electrofishing vessels
- Mechanical hydro-rakes
- Hydraulic dredge
Unfortunately, access to new innovations has not caught up across the industry. While smaller companies may be more local and connected in the community, they can lack the overhead to support these premium solutions and equipment. More sizeable companies may not feel as familiar but tend to have the infrastructure and employ larger, more knowledgeable teams that are dedicated to each aspect of lake and pond management. When evaluating their options, stakeholders may find success with companies that strike a healthy balance between the two.
You look to professional lake and pond managers as the experts, but in an ever-evolving industry, it’s essential to verify that your management company is staying up-to-date with new research, management practices, and industry developments.
Companies may demonstrate this by making information accessible through a variety of avenues:
- Blog posts
- Informative guides
- Case studies
- Educational videos
Your lake and pond management professional should also show enthusiasm for educating you about your waterbody, breaking down costs, and ensuring you have the knowledge and understanding to make informed decisions about your property. During the evaluation process, be sure to ask prompting questions that allow you to gauge their level of knowledge and willingness to help you understand.
Lake and pond management is a complex scientific field that employs some of the world’s most brilliant biologists, ecologists, and environmental scientists. It’s these thought leaders who are driving the industry forward through continuous research and technology development. As you consider lake and pond management companies, look for those that maintain strategic partnerships with leading industry authorities such as the North American Lake Management Society (NALMS), the Aquatic Plant Management Society (APMS), and state Aquatic Managers Associations.
It’s also important to work with a team that not only knows how to tackle environmental challenges but understands the “why” behind your goals. As humans, we have an innate connection to the water. Scientific research has proven we experience physical, mental, and emotional benefits by spending time around lakes, ponds, rivers, oceans, and even swimming pools. These findings should inform each of the choices and strategies your freshwater management partner makes for your aquatic resources.
You’re excited and invested in the health and beauty of your waterbody, and you want your management company to match that passion. Aquatic experts understand the inextricable link our water resources have to one another and to the land that surrounds them. When our neighbor’s waterbody is in poor health, it has a direct impact on our own. Companies that support the community at a local level share a stake in the success of its stormwater pond and irrigation systems, drinking water reservoirs, recreational lakes, and even the private waterbodies found throughout.
Companies may demonstrate their commitment to the community by leading volunteering programs that enhance the health of the landscape beyond your property and educate the public. Examples of community outreach can include:
- Pond, creek, and community clean-ups
- Native vegetation and tree plantings
- Rain garden Installations
- Invasive species removals
- Fishing tournaments
- Outdoor kids events
- Natural disaster response
- Pet adoption events
- Historical restorations
- Holiday meal preparation
- Community yard sales
- Food drives
- Habitat for Humanity builds
- Trash cleanups
- Blood drives
- Benefit races or walks
Finding Your Lake Management Guide
Ultimately, it’s important to remember that you’re not hiring a lake and pond management company, you’re partnering with one. Their aquatic experts will be your source of knowledge throughout the management process, they will help you implement your budget, and they will guide your choice of services and solutions. As you evaluate potential partners, make sure you choose a company that respects your goals and exhibits the knowledge, passion, and expertise to successfully achieve them.
Helping Your Achieve Beautiful Water
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.