Lake Restoration: A Complete Guide to Maintaining Lake & Pond Health

Lake and pond health restored from environmental servcies by Lake & Wetland Management

For many, Florida’s waterways are a major attraction and part of what makes living in Florida so special. From the ocean to the beautiful ponds and lakes throughout communities and golf courses, water is central to Floridians. You may not have given much thought to what goes into maintaining all these beautiful waterways.

Maintaining a lake is more complicated than you may realize. It requires ongoing water quality monitoring and management to help ensure that the lake is thriving and people can continue to enjoy it. Without regular management of your lake or pond, the waterway can become unusable.

Lakes, ponds, and other waterways serve many purposes. They may support irrigation or sports and recreational fishing. Regardless of their function, lake management is necessary to the biodiversity and environmental health of the waterway.

In Florida, these bodies of water are often crucial for property values. In housing developments, no one wants to smell or look at an unsightly, overgrown lake or pond. It is critical for housing developments and apartment complexes to adequately manage their waterways.

Lake restoration is an important process in which a wide range of management techniques are used to restore a lake to its original state or to a state that better supports the health and well-being of the aquatic system, including plants and animals.

At Lake and Wetland Management, our lake experts have compiled a comprehensive guide to maintaining or restoring lake and pond health. Read on to learn more about how to keep your waterways functioning for the benefit of wildlife, plants, and the humans who use your lake.

The Process of Lake Monitoring

To manage your lake, you need detailed water quality testing and monitoring from experts on Florida’s lakes.

This monitoring and documentation ensures that you know what is going on in your lake and can address any concerns before they develop into significant and expensive problems.

We will provide you a detailed report with written and photographic documentation of our lake and environmental monitoring, which includes the following:

  • Account of our efforts to control exotic plants and install native ones
  • Water level reporting
  • If applicable, recommendations for ongoing management
  • Log of any wildlife species we encounter

Our biologists will take stock of your property’s environmental health and biodiversity. They will carefully detail the hundreds of birds, insects, reptiles, mammals, fish, mollusks, amphibians, arachnids, and any other wildlife species on your property.

Water and Soil Testing

Lake and Wetland Management is prepared to test your soils and waterways. We can handle your water quality testing needs and test for an array of parameters, including:

  • pH
  • Dissolved oxygen
  • Water elevation
  • Clarity
  • Presence of bacteria
  • Presence of organic & inorganic chemicals, herbicides, & pesticides

Understanding Algae and Cyanobacteria

“Algae” gets used informally as a catch-all term that can include a wide array of organisms that may not always be closely related. In Florida, when we refer to “algae,” we may actually be referring to cyanobacteria, also known as “blue-green algae” or “toxic algae.” It actually is not algae at all.

Cyanobacteria appear in several different forms. It can appear as hair-like filaments, slimy coatings on plants, or a green substance suspended in a water column.

In many man-made waterways, excessive runoff can be a problem. This runoff will lead to nutrient loading that will eventually upset the balance of the waterway’s aquatic system. Grass clippings, animal waste (pet and wild), eroded sediment, and landscaping fertilizers all contribute to nutrient loading.

Cyanobacteria may also release toxins that can harm your waterway. The toxins are the cyanobacteria’s way of defending themselves against other competing organisms, but they can also harm fish, other wildlife, pets, and humans.

Managing the conditions that contribute to algal blooms and nutrient loading is crucial to keeping the cyanobacteria and algae in check. Lake and Wetland Management can counsel you on how to maintain a healthy system. We can advise you on how to work with homeowners, landscapers, and property managers to make good decisions that promote a healthy aquatic system.

Lake and Wetland Management leads the way in its industry. We assist our customers in keeping their waterways healthy and beautiful. Contact one of our experts today to start monitoring your lake or pond today.

Water Quality Management Solutions for Lakes & Ponds

Algaecides

Algaecides kill the algae and prevent it from blooming in your waterways by invading the algae’s habitat. All algaecides used by Lake and Wetland Management are EPA-registered.

Stocking Grass Carp

Sterile triploid grass carp serve as a “biological control” option for nuisance aquatic vegetation. Triploid Grass Carp can help reduce the amount of pesticides required for the management of nuisance and invasive vegetation. Though EPA-registered aquatic herbicides play a key role in safe and responsible plant management, they should generally be viewed as a last resort option for stubborn infestations.

Nutrient Remediation with Phoslock or Alum

Lakes and ponds suffering from chronic nutrient loading may be excellent candidates for proven nutrient-locking technologies like Phoslock and Alum, which can help inactivate excess nutrients, making them unavailable for fueling nuisance plants and algae. Phoslock (lanthanum-modified clay) rapidly binds and permanently removes free reactive phosphorus (FRP) from the water column shortly after application, clearing up the pond and returning it to a naturally beautiful state. It is also effective in locking up the phosphorus in the bottom sediments.

Biological Treatments

Dead algae along with other build-ups of sludge and bottom sediment can occur in your waterway. Lake and Wetland Management’s biological treatments include naturally occurring cultures, which digest this organic matter and clean up the water body. This process can also help raise the dissolved oxygen levels in the pond.

Mechanical Harvesting

We also have mechanical harvesting options, which can be used to selectively and naturally remove aquatic weeds. This is an excellent option if you need to clear a large amount of vegetation without using aquatic herbicides.

Aeration Systems

In both ponds and lakes, aeration systems are used to increase the oxygenation of the waterway. A pond aeration system can be in the form of a floating fountain or consist of submersed diffusers strategically located at the bottom throughout the waterbody. Aeration helps improve the overall health of the aquatic system. If you are thinking about an aeration system, you should consider its many benefits.

Lake and Wetland Management is ready to help you manage the algae in your pond or lake. If you have a lake or pond that is in need of maintenance or restoration, contact our experts today to take back your waterway and restore its sparkling beauty.

Fountain & Aeration Benefits

Without an aerator, a lake is more prone to sediment buildup at the bottom, which can decompose and alter the lake’s composition. The benefits of lake and pond fountains and aeration systems include:

Increase Aquatic Habitat

Aeration helps keep oxygen flowing through the pond or lake, which helps nourish plants and animals. The well-being of the fish and plants in your waterway is connected. Fish feed on the plants, and keeping the plants in the pond healthy will ensure that the fish have a steady supply of nourishment.

Warm-water fish especially benefit from aeration. The aeration system helps deliver oxygen to and develop their habitat.

Destratification

When the water in the lake is separated into different levels with varying temperatures, stratification has occurred. This can be a difficult problem for environmental managers and may lead to fish kills. Aeration helps to evenly distribute the water and maintain a more consistent temperature. Air injection and mechanical mixing are both good techniques for achieving destratification.

Improve Water Quality

An submersed aeration system improves the water quality by distributing oxygen throughout the lake. As the bubbles rise, they carry the low oxygen water from the bottom towards the surface, where it mixes with atmospheric oxygen before sinking back to the bottom. The continuous vertical mixing helps increase oxygen concentrations throughout the entire waterbody, particularly deeper waters.

The benefits of a well-oxygenated waterbody are extensive. Dissolved oxygen supports desirable fish and microbes, eliminates toxins, improves water clarity, limits algae, muck, and bad odors, and helps reduce the impact of organic pollutants.

Lake and Wetland Management is equipped to handle all your aeration needs and can help you choose, install, and manage an aeration system that will keep your waterways looking picturesque and ready for recreation.

LAKE AND WETLAND MANAGEMENT FOR ALL YOUR WATERWAY NEEDS

At Lake and Wetland Management, we know that Floridians take their bodies of water seriously. From lake monitoring to controlling algae to finding the right aeration system, we are experts in the management of Florida’s waterways. We make it easy for you to manage your lake or pond regardless of what your needs are. Whether you need to comply with government reporting or simply need to keep your lake in good shape for recreational use, we want to help you achieve your goals for your waterways. Find out more about the many lake and pond maintenance services we offer to help manage lakes throughout Florida.

Contact an expert today for a free estimate of our services at 855-888-5253.