A Cost Effective Option To Dredging Your Pond


I couldn’t help but notice a recent article from an online newspaper called Sauk Valley which is an area not far from here in western Illinois.

Like many municipalities, these folks are dealing with an aging pond that’s filling in, and of course during the warm months, algae will usually show up too.  Each year it seems to get a little worse.

As ponds become more shallow, the challenges of keeping it clean and healthy can increase and there’s a lot of reasons for this.  Sunlight penetration can stimulate more growth.  Weeds can take hold at the bottom.  The aforementioned algae cycles through it’s typical life and death, and as it dies, it sinks and adds compost like muck at the bottom.  And this feeds more growth.

In the case of the Thomas Park pond in Sterling Illinois, the powers that be have decided to spend some money on dredging out the pond.  This involves the physical cleaning and removal of this bottom sediment, and it won’t be cheap.

The estimated cost will be right around $150,000.

But are there other options that won’t cost so much?

Read more

Can You Spot Treat Pond Algae?

Filamentous algae06

Here’s another good question from the old Pond Q&A mailbag and I think it can be applied to just about any size of pond, even though in this particular case the question was about a 3 acre pond.

The gentleman described his situation as having some reasonably heavy string algae around the perimeter of the pond and wondered what he could do about it.  He wanted me to put all the options on the table so to speak and so I did that, and I admit, I hedged a bit on the fact that the pond was so big and that if costs where a consideration, I’d try to include some reasonably affordable options too.

After sending the email out however I began to realize that I may not have talked about this much on the blog and so today, it’s a good opportunity to cover it.

So, when is it a good idea to spot treat an algae bloom?  When does it makes sense, versus treating the entire pond? Or do you always have to treat all of the pond to get a good effect?

And my answer, definitive as it may be is…it depends.

Read more

Nitrate Levels And Your Pond – One Example From Iowa

7 5 11 flooded field

Whenever we talk about pond algae and pond algae control, there are a few things we almost always focus on.  One of those things is nutrients that feed the plant growth.  Of course, these same nutrients feed other plants too, but by and large, it’s the free-floating plants that get the most of it.  This includes algae of course, but also duckweed and watermeal too.

Interestingly, a recent MSN article out of Iowa discussed a current, state-wide situation there where one of these types of nutrients, nitrates to be precise, is affecting the drinking water in the state.  I’ll include a link at the bottom of this article to that one so you can look it over.

In a nutshell, it provides an interesting example of the way weather can affect our ponds and waterways, and how some of the things we do around these aquatic environments affect them as well.  

Read more

Pond Aeration Using Solar Power


Can I use solar power to run my pond aerator?

It’s a question that’s coming up more and more often.  And I have to admit that I’d be asking the same question myself if I were in your shoes.  Solar just makes a lot of sense when it comes to running something like pond aeration, at least on paper.

There are small pond fountains, in particular, that are running off solar, but what we’re talking about here is the concept of powering a large pond aeration system.

I’m not intimately familiar with all things solar and I wouldn’t consider myself and expert on the technology at all but I do have a few tips to share with you on the subject here.

I’m very pro-solar and admire the people who end up powering part or all of their home appliances with help from the sun.  It’s a grand, eco-friendly idea and I hope that legislators and the powers that be will make this way of producing energy more affordable and accessible for everyone.

In terms of running a pond aerator with solar power, it’s certainly possible to do it.  But there are some challenges to it and I wanted to address those below.

Read more

Another Option For Large Pond Aeration Layouts

In the last week or so I’ve been going over some optional ways in which an aeration system can be installed in a large pond.

By now you probably know of all the benefits of having an aerator in your pond.  The devices do so much for a pond it’s almost unthinkable not to have one running most or all of the time.  Dissolved oxygen is critical to the health of fish and certain species like trout or catfish seem to be more vulnerable when things drop on the oxygen meter.  If last year was any lesson for most of us, it’s that you can’t be too careful when things get hot and stagnant.  And you can lose a lot of big fish when things go wrong.

Along with this, a stagnant pond seems to have a lot more chronic problems with algae and just overall decay.  They can get stinky and messy and just be an eyesore after awhile.  A pond aerator may not ward all of the aging off that happens to a pond but it sure can slow things down a lot.  If good aerobic bacteria is stimulated enough, it can truly keep a pond cleaner, and that’s a good thing were algae reduction is concerned.

One of the real challenges with a large pond aerator though is in terms of it’s cost.  It’s just not easy to cover a big piece of water adequately.  Fortunately though, we are always looking for ways to make this effort more affordable and one way to do that is to look for alternatives when it comes to layouts and airline options.

Let me explain this in more detail and I think you’ll see why this optional layout might be a good idea for some large pond owners.

Read more

Pond Aeration For Long And Narrow Ponds

Every once in awhile I’ll get a pond owner who asks about aerating an oddly shaped pond.  Most commonly, what this PA10DiffuserUnderwater2 1means is the pond may be quite a bit longer than it is wide.  The shape really isn’t uniform but more oblong or extended.  The pond might be a 1/4 acre to an acre in size and this presents a bit of a challenge for fitting a typical aerator kit.

Most of these systems are, at least initially, laid out with a uniform pond in mind.  It might be round, square, or a something close to that, and if that’s the case it’s no big deal.  Just fit the suggested unit to the surface area and the depth that you’re working with.

You might recall that depth is a critical factor here because the deeper you can get a diffuser the more surface area it will positively affect.

But on ponds that either have a really oblong shape, or those that are very shallow, there’s a better way to cover them, and that’s with an additional diffuser, rather than just using a single one.

Read more