Is Pond Algae Removal An Olympic Event?

I’ve never minded a bit of manual algae removal from my backyard pond. It sort of goes with the territory. If I keep having a problem with algae outbreaks I think I’ll get in touch with the current experts on the topic.

I may have to go to China to do it though.

If you’ve kept a close eye on the news lately you’ve no doubt heard about China’s problem with algae growth.

Now normally this wouldn’t be such a big issue as to warrant world wide news coverage however it just so happens that China will be hosting the summer Olympics in about a month. Sadly, sail boats and other water craft, and particularly those on a time clock, don’t do that well floating amongst algae growth that’s reported to be up to two feet thick in some places.

Talk about string algae problems!

It’s not an unusual thing to hear about string algae being removed from a pond with rakes, pitch forks, or fancy gadgets specifically designed for the task. Little did I know that industrial sized end loaders, dump trucks, and barges could be useful too.

But then most of us don’t have 5,000 square miles of the stuff to deal with.

As amazing as this story might be, what I found even more unbelievable was the comments made by the chinese when they were questioned on it. Their response was interesting. Officials in Qingdao said in recent days that pollution and poor water quality did not have a “substantial link” to the current outbreak, according to Xinhua. Instead, scientists blamed the increased rainfall and warmer waters in the Yellow Sea for the bloom.

And there’s no doubt that these things may be factors.

However what they refused to acknowledge is what most backyard pond owners already know. That high organic nutrient loads lead to more algae growth. Many chinese coastal cities dump raw sewage directly into the ocean and most rivers and streams are loaded with high levels of nitrates from agricultural and industrial operations. Sounds like a perfect recipe for algae to me.

In the end, I hope the chinese get their algae problems figured out. It certainly won’t be for a lack of trying by the common man, woman, and child over there. News clips show many people trying to remove the string algae by hand. And if one ever needed a quick fix for algae control, this would be the place for it.

I’m just glad it’s not all that bad in my pond.

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