Why Your Neighbor's Lake Management Program Might Not Work for You
Maybe you just moved to a property with a pond, or perhaps you’ve taken a newfound interest in the maintenance of your waterbody. Keeping lakes and ponds healthy and beautiful can be hard. Despite putting significant time and funds into cultivating the waterbody of your dreams, it may seem as if you’ve hit a dead end. You may find yourself gazing across the street at your neighbor’s clean, glistening pond. What are they doing that you’re not? Should you copy their approach? Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.
Understanding The Unique Characteristics & Goals of Your Waterbody
Lakes and ponds are always changing – and they can be quite finicky. A waterbody in the shade of a tree can face vastly different challenges than a waterbody in full sun. The topography of your land or how your waterbody is primarily used may dictate the preferred management style. Even wind, rain, landscaping practices, and the presence of wildlife or livestock can have a significant impact on the physical and chemical properties of the water.
Just like lakes and ponds, all stakeholders have unique goals, budgets, and timelines. A property owner with the patience and funds to cultivate a flourishing trophy fishery has different priorities than a homeowner gearing up for the summer swimming and kayaking that’s right around the corner. Your waterbody is like no other and deserves more than a one-size-fits-all management approach. A professionally tailored program is the key to achieving your vision as efficiently as possible, and keeping it front and center well into the future.
Building A Lake Management Program
Typically, the design process for your program starts by conducting a visual survey of the property and comprehensive water quality testing to establish a baseline of the waterbody. Your aquatic specialist should collaborate with you to pinpoint the issues affecting the ecosystem and devise the best solutions considering your needs and constraints. It’s also important to have ongoing discussions as these factors may change over time.
While no two management programs are the same, most incorporate a variety of sustainable solutions that support the well-being of a waterbody from the inside out.
Improve Water Quality with Aeration
Well-oxygenated waterbodies are healthy waterbodies. Oxygen is essential to the process of decomposition, helping plant matter, muck, and animal waste break down more efficiently. Oxygen is also critical for the growth of beneficial aquatic life. Fountains, surface aerators, and submersed aerators are powerful systems that help boost dissolved oxygen levels throughout the water column. The selection of equipment can depend on the size and depth of the waterbody, as well as the property owner’s budget and aesthetic needs. While your neighbor may only require a surface aerator for functional benefits, you may desire a floating fountain with dynamic light features for added beauty.
Manage High Nutrient Levels In the Water Column
The management of pond nutrients is also important, no matter how a waterbody is used. Nutrients like phosphorus and nitrogen support plant growth and reinforce the health of the aquatic ecosystem. Nutrient-rich waterbodies foster excellent fishing opportunities but may experience an overgrowth of plants and algae that are not desirable on lakes and ponds used for swimming and boating. Aquatic experts have the knowledge and tools to maintain nutrient levels in balance with your desired outcome for the waterbody.
Erosion’s Affects on Your Lake’s Health
No matter how a waterbody is used, shoreline erosion can have detrimental effects on its health and hinder its progress towards your goals. Using modern shoreline restoration and bioengineering materials, aquatic experts can rebuild a shoreline that’s completely customized to the size and slope of your waterbody, and integrate buffer vegetation, sod, or landscaping elements that align with your incomparable vision.
Enjoy Beautiful Water with A Custom Management Plan
These are just a few of the many preventative strategies that can be utilized as part of your year-round management program. As future needs arise, aquatic experts may recommend other impactful solutions like hydro-raking, dredging, mechanical harvesting, EPA-registered herbicides, or bathymetric mapping to keep your waterbody on its path to success.
No matter how long you have cared for your waterbody, there is always so much more to learn through monitoring and data collection. When considering lake and pond management partners, look for one that values the individual characteristics of your waterbody and works to understand exactly what success means to you. After all, you’re one-of-a-kind.
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.