Should You Implement Lake and Pond Maintenance Services In the Fall?
As the transitional period between the summer and winter seasons, Autumn is a pivotal time to reflect on the challenges that your waterbody faced during the warmer months and contemplate your goals for the future. Autumn also provides an optimal window to implement maintenance services and water quality testing strategies that will help set your aquatic ecosystem up for success in the coming year.
Address Aquatic Weeds & Muck with Mechanical Solutions
Weeds and pond algae are some of the most common problems that plague aquatic ecosystems during the warmer months. Though property owners and managers may be happy to see them disappear late in the season, the die-off of terrestrial and aquatic plants can impact the physical and chemical composition of the water, creating problems that seemingly lie dormant until warm weather returns. Mechanical harvesting and hydro-raking can be used to physically remove floating and submersed plants to prevent accumulation and muck development at the bottom.
Target Decomposing Pond Plants with Natural Biological Bacteria
Physical removal of pond weeds is effective, but plant fragments often remain. Biological bacteria play an essential role in the decomposition of remaining organic materials. They are found naturally in lakes and ponds, but can also be supplemented through a process called biological augmentation. These beneficial bacteria are aerobic, which means they require oxygen to carry out their metabolic processes.
Maintain Healthy Dissolved Oxygen Levels with Fountains & Aerators
But as the days grow shorter and cooler, dissolved oxygen (DO) can become depleted, reducing the efficiency of this process. Introducing floating aeration equipment or a submersed aerator can help maintain balanced DO levels, which facilitates decomposition and curbs the accumulation of nutrient-rich muck over the winter months. For stakeholders that already own a fountain or aerator, Autumn is an appropriate time to have units inspected and repaired to help prolong the performance of the equipment.
Balance Lake Nutrient Levels and Enhance Water Quality
Nutrients like phosphorus are an underlying cause of nuisance pond weed and algae growth. Phosphorus is naturally occurring in the water but is also transported by sources like lawn fertilizers, pet waste, trash, and agricultural runoff. Autumn is a good time to take action against nutrient imbalances and prevent explosive weeds and algae when the spring season arrives. If water quality tests reveal elevated phosphorus levels, products like Phoslock¹, Alum, and EutroSORB² can help target excess nutrients in waterbodies of all shapes, sizes, and uses. A professional can recommend the best solution based on the characteristics of your waterbody.
Perform Pond Shoreline Buffer Maintenance
In addition to managing excess and unwanted nutrients in the water, it’s important to prevent them from entering the ecosystem. This starts by maintaining a healthy, robust beneficial shoreline buffer comprised of native plants. Autumn is an excellent time to prune shoreline plants and remove any growth that comprises the shoreline, such as bushes, small trees, and invasive plants like Phragmites and Purple Loosestrife.
Repair Shoreline Erosion Damage This Fall
Shorelines that exhibit significant erosion—a large source of nutrient loading—can be repaired using bioengineering strategies that reshape and anchor sediment in place to better withstand winter ice formation and flooding during the summer months. In some cases, dredging may also be necessary to restore depth and volume. Because this service typically involves draining water and digging out thousands to millions of pounds of muck and debris, professionals often recommend scheduling it for the end of the year.
Extend Fishing Fun Into the Fall with Fish Stocking
For angling enthusiasts, Autumn doesn’t have to mark the end of fishing fun. Many fish species are best suited for stocking over the fall months when temperatures are more mild. This timing makes it easier for various types of trophy and forage fish to acclimate to their new ecosystem.
Set Your Lake Up for Success This Fall
Autumn is a time of transition and no doubt, your waterbody will experience changes that manifest when spring and summer return. But stakeholders can shape these outcomes through an integrated management program that’s thoughtfully tailored to their unique property and budget. As the warmer months come to an end, an Aquatic Specialist can help property stakeholders assess the health and physical condition of their waterbodies and strategize a clear path to achieve their goals for the following year.
1. Manufactured by PET Water Solutions
2. Manufactured by SePRO
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.