By Industry Expert Greg Blackham, Aquatic Specialist
Every year, damage to your pond is occurring. It is inevitable. The habits of civilization and the forces of nature constantly batter at your aquatic resource, sometimes violently, but usually subtle and quiet. Your pond may be somewhat resilient, yet these elements take their toll. The questions are, can you do anything? What do you look for to determine if problems are developing? The answer to the first question is always yes. There is a definite approach to restoring stability, function and beauty to your pond, but at what cost?
If problems are found early, the costs are significantly lower, which brings us to “early warning” diagnostics. Most of the structural issues can be found preemptively with a thorough inspection a couple times a year. Pollution and excess nutrient loading are usually easier to see with inspection of the overall water quality. If excess algae or noxious weeds are present, there is a problem. Also, if foul smells waft from the pond or large mosquito infestations exist, something is wrong.
Apart from the obvious problems, a complete walkthrough of the area should be done, looking for a variety of tells. Are there animal burrows? Do the side slopes, inlets, outlets, or emergency spillways show signs of erosion? Is the area around your pond settling, cracking, bulging, or showing signs of deteriorated structure? Is the outflow pipe damaged or clogged? Are there trees or saplings present around the pond? Their roots may be damaging the integrity of the embankment.
Is there a vegetative buffer zone between the neighboring grass and the pond? Are there piles of grass clippings or other debris building up around the pond? Is there scattered trash in or around the pond? Is there evidence of encroachments, vandalism or other destructive activities taking place? Do you need a fence to protect your pond, or children from entering the pond? If there is one, is it in good working order? Is there evidence of oil, grease, or other pollutants leeching into the pond? Are there large amounts of animal feces surrounding the area?
Answering these questions and solving the problems that are identified will greatly increase the life of your pond. Most of these problems, when addressed early, are more cost effective to correct and make it much easier to restore a natural balance and pleasing appearance to your pond. Will your pond stand the test of time?
Contact the experts at 888-480-LAKE (5253) for all of your lake, pond and fisheries management needs.
Greg Blackham is an Aquatic Specialist with SOLitude Lake Management. Since 1998, SOLitude Lake Management has been committed to providing full service lake and pond management services that improve water quality, preserve natural resources, and reduce our environmental footprint. Services are available throughout the Eastern United States. Fisheries management consulting and aquatic products are available nationwide. Learn more about SOLitude Lake Management and purchase products at www.solitudelakemanagement.com.