Set Your Waterbody Up for Success This Year and Beyond
Imagine sitting near the edge of a lake or pond on a warm, sunny day. Maybe you’re enjoying a picnic with friends or watching your family take a dip. Then, all of a sudden, you get a whiff of a foul odor and see green scum floating in the water nearby…
Water quality problems like this can quickly ruin your picture-perfect day on or around the water. Achieving a healthy, beautiful aquatic resource that you and your family can enjoy year-round is no easy task. Depending on where your waterbody is in its lifespan, it may require restorative and proactive management solutions in order to become that ideal waterbody you’re dreaming of.
Identify the Root Cause of Water Quality Issues
The first step towards a pristine waterbody is identifying the problem’s source. Professional water quality testing provides valuable data on water quality imbalances and informs next steps. For example, high levels of phosphorus and nitrogen can contribute to nuisance pond weed growth, which will eventually die off and the organic material will settle at the bottom of the waterbody. Year after year, this cycle can lead to muck development and, subsequently, flooding and volume loss which can lead to costly property damage.
Restore Depth with Sediment & Muck Removal
Dredging is the primary solution for resetting aquatic ecosystems with severe muck and sediment build-up. During this process, waterbodies are cleared of hundreds or thousands of pounds of nutrient-rich sediment and nuisance plant life. Though dredging is costly and invasive, it’s an extremely impactful management tool that should be followed by regular maintenance, water quality testing and monitoring, and proactive strategies like shoreline management.
Repair Eroded Shorelines
Rehabilitating eroded banks will prevent nutrient-rich sediment from returning to the water. One of the most effective erosion repair solutions is a durable knitted soil containment system called SOX. This patented tool is used to reshape and strengthen a shoreline for many years. Once installed, turf or other vegetation can be planted over the system to create a living shoreline. This results in a natural, integrated look that serves as a bio-filter, creates a safe stable shoreline and enhances the aesthetics of any property.
Establish a Beneficial Buffer
To extend the longevity of a newly restored shoreline, it’s crucial to maintain a healthy beneficial buffer comprised of native, deep-rooted plants. Vegetative shoreline buffers should extend 3-5ft from the water and grow approximately 18in tall. In addition to creating a complex web that holds soil in place, buffer plants help filter out runoff that contains pet waste, trash, fertilizers, yard debris, and other sources of nutrient pollution.
Maintain Balanced Nutrient Levels
Balanced nutrient levels can also be maintained with the help of beneficial bacteria that consume sludge naturally, as well as nutrient remediation products like Phoslock and Alum that bind with nutrients to prevent plant uptake. Fountains and submersed aeration systems can further support these efforts by increasing dissolved oxygen, which helps convert nutrients to forms that do not fuel organic growth.
Set Your Waterbody Up for Success for Years to Come
Each of these solutions plays a key role in restoring and maintaining a healthy waterbody, but it’s important to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Professional lake managers understand how to collect and interpret data and select the best tools and technologies to help you achieve your goals. With an annual SOL Pro Plan, you can achieve your dream waterbody and begin making lasting memories on and around the water in 2022 and beyond!
Creating Healthier, Happier Communities with Beautiful Lakes & Ponds
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.