How to Build An Effective Lake or Pond Maintenance Plan In 6 Steps
Lake and pond maintenance is not just important during the summer months; preserving the longevity of water resources requires an ongoing commitment. It’s never too late to start implementing an Annual Lake Management Plan. In six steps, you can build a program that helps maximize the health, beauty, and functionality of your waterbody well into the future.
Step 1: Establish Your Goals & Budget with Your Aquatic Expert & Stakeholders
The first step in building your plan is to identify your goals and establish a budget. This may require engaging with community residents, board members, local citizens, or other stakeholders to understand their concerns and expectations, whether they involve improving stormwater functionality, enhancing aesthetics, or providing swimming access for the public. Cross-collaboration will help ensure that your plan fulfills a variety of needs.
Step 2: Identify & Discuss Visual Issues with a Local Aquatic Expert
Consulting with a local aquatic expert is essential to identify any visual issues that may be present such as weeds, algae, invasive species, erosion, or stormwater infrastructure problems. An expert’s insight will help you understand the extent of these issues and determine the appropriate course of action.
Step 3: Conduct a Scientific Evaluation of Your Waterbody
To establish a baseline from which to build your program, aquatic experts will conduct a scientific evaluation of your waterbody. This may involve several key procedures, including water quality testing and lake mapping. Water quality testing helps you understand the current state of health, while lake mapping provides information about depth levels and the rate of sedimentation.
Step 4: Determine the Solutions Needed to Reach Your Goals
Based on the data collected during the scientific evaluation, your aquatic expert will recommend the appropriate management solutions to address the identified issues. For example, if water quality tests reveal low dissolved oxygen levels, your expert may suggest installing aeration systems to improve oxygenation. This step ensures that your lake management plan is tailored to your unique waterbody and will help you meet your specific goals.
Step 5: Consider Timing, Budgeting, & Permitting
Budgeting, permitting, and seasonal timing are essential considerations when prioritizing lake management services. For instance, immediate treatment may be necessary for algae infestations during peak summer months, and proactive measures like aeration can be installed concurrently. On the other hand, larger services like hydro-raking may be a project that is desired for completion during the off-season. If funding is tight, consider completing projects in phases when possible and budgeting ahead for one-time solutions. Your aquatic expert will help you check if any permits are required and collaborate with regulatory agencies to obtain the necessary approvals at the correct time – something particularly important in northern states.
Step 6: Get Started with Your Annual Management Plan
Once you and your lake management partner have discussed and built your lake management plan, it’s time to get started! Your aquatic expert will guide you through the implementation phase and ensure smooth execution. You’ll also gain access to SOLitude’s Customer Portal to stay up-to-date with program results and invoices, and maintain communication with your local aquatic experts.
Experience Stress-Free Water Management
Well-managed lakes and ponds not only enhance the beauty of our properties but also provide a thriving ecosystem for all to enjoy. By following this step-by-step guide, you can create a comprehensive annual lake management plan that aligns with your goals and budget, and promotes the long-term health of your waterbody.
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.