It's been a long winter and spring is here! With steady, warm temperatures present, we again have to worry about the threat of nuisance pond algae blooms. Year round pond maintenance and a proactive approach using natural methods to restore ecological balance are the preferred methods to significantly help reduce the prevalence of algae blooms in your lakes, ponds and stormwater basins. Here are some recommended environmentally friendly and effective algae control methods used to promote attractive and healthy lakes and ponds in your community:
AVOID EXCESS POND NUTRIENTS:
The main goal of a successful algae control plan is to limit and reduce the nutrients in the water that can cause unwanted algae growth. Avoid grass clippings, leaves, fertilizer and other nutrient loaded organic debris from getting into your water body. Limit mowing around the edges of your lake or pond to help establish a protective vegetative buffer. You can plant beneficial vegetation in and around the edges of your lake or pond to stabalize the bank, help reduce erosion areas and keep nutrients from entering the waterbody. Aquatic plants such as pickerelweed, sedges, and rushes often add beauty as well as provide nutrient absorption to a shallow area within a body of water that is partially wet.
Biological augmentation can significantly improve pond water quality by utilizing naturally occurring microbes and enzymes that aid in the maintenance of healthy water ecosystems. The dosing of these naturally-occurring micro-organisms boosts the natural populations in your ponds, helping to further reduce the accumulation of nutrients and organic sludge, thus removing the primary food source for the algae.
BIND AVAILABLE PHOSPHORUS:
When looking to prevent algae blooms, you must focus on phosphorus, which is the primary limiting nutrient in the proliferation in nuisance and harmful algal blooms. A highly effective, lanthanum-modified clay product called Phoslock, can permanently remove phosphorus from the water column and lock all available phosphorus in the muck on the pond's bottom. By binding all available phosphorus in your pond, it is no longer available as a food source for algae blooms.
RUN POND AERATION 24/7:
One of the best practices for helping to maintain your water and prevent the accumulation of nutrients that could lead to excessive algae is to install and continuously run a submersed air diffused or floating surface pond aeration system. Aerators increase diffused oxygen in the water, which in turn supports and encourages the growth of beneficial aerobic bacteria. This beneficial bacteria breakdown organic matter and consume excess nutrients which helps to balance and improve water quality and reduce algae blooms.The benefits of aeration to a lake or pond are actually higher at night, so running your aeration continously is highly recommended.
All of these strategies are centered around using techniques and products that are natural and completely safe for use in the aquatic environment, with no adverse effects on fish, macro invertebrates, or other wildlife.
If all of your efforts to improve water quality and prevent algae are not enough, algaecides can be applied safely and effectively to control existing pond algae blooms before they get worse. However, after treatment, it is still imperative that you implement an annual program designed around balance and preventing algae through water quality improvements. Otherwise, you will find your lake or pond with recurring algae blooms, needing continuous treatments with algaecides. This becomes a cycle that is never ending, and must be broken! Spring is coming, is your lake or pond ready?!
SOLitude Lake Management Aquatic Biologists work to restore ecological balance and help clients with lake and pond algae control.
Contact SOLitude Lake Management to speak with an expert biologist, ecologist or scientist for all of your lake, pond and fisheries management needs. 888-480-LAKE (5253) or firstname.lastname@example.org. Services are available throughout the Eastern United States. Aquatic products and consultation are available nationwide.