Our lakes and ponds tend to be forgotten about during the winter months, as most problems that we experience during the summer months, such as pond algae, are usually not evident during colder weather. This does not mean that all the problems of the previous summer have gone away. Rest assured, they will usually resurface when the weather warms up with the coming of spring.
One of the best tools we have to deal with the water quality issues in ponds are aeration systems. It is never too early or too late to consider enhancing your pond through the aeration installation. Aeration comes in many forms, but the two most common are floating fountain aerators and submersed air diffused aeration systems. Each has its benefits, and often times both types of pond aeration systems can be used in combination to maximize these benefits to the pond.
Year round aeration is the single best management practice available to lake and pond owners. There is an inverse relationship between temperature and the total level of dissolved oxygen that water can hold. As water temperatures increase, the dissolved oxygen levels in the pond will naturally decrease. However, when the water temperature decreases, the dissolved oxygen levels in the pond will naturally rise. You can further enhance this increase in dissolved oxygen by running the aeration system during colder temperatures, thus adding even more dissolved oxygen to the water at a time when it is naturally able to accept more.
Additionally, if you already have surface aeration in place, you should consider allowing it to run 24 hrs a day, as the benefits of aeration to a lake or pond are actually higher at night. The photosynthesis and other biological processes at work in the pond during the day when there is direct exposure to sunlight actually help's to naturally improve the dissolved oxygen levels in the water. At night, or on extremely cloudy days, the lack of sunlight slows down these processes, typically resulting in lower dissolved oxygen levels in the pond. The benefits of running your aeration system at night are profound, so put some thought into leaving it on all night.
If you have not been thinking about your pond lately, now is the time to start. Spring will be here before you know it!
Kevin Tucker is the president of SOLitude Lake Management Company. 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.
Contact the experts at 888-480-LAKE (5253) for all of your lake, pond and fisheries management needs.