If you manage a golf course or HOA, you may be worried that your pond will need to be dredged at some time or another. Why dredge a pond? All ponds go through a natural cycle called eutrophication that eventually leads to its slow decline over time.
Sediment and silt make their way into ponds through runoff and begin to cause all kinds of problems. Excess nutrient levels from the sedimentation can lead to water quality issues such as nuisance algae blooms and fish kills. If left unmanaged, you’ll have a shallow swamp with murky water that is full of nuisance or invasive aquatic plants.
There are several proactive management strategies that help slow a waterbody’s aging process such as aeration, nutrient remediation, and buffer management. Though these practices help keep your lake or pond healthy, there will still come a time where your waterbody will reach the end of its lifespan, and dredging or sediment removal will be required.
If you are in need of professional pond management services in Florida and an evaluation of your pond’s current condition, get in touch with the experts at Lake & Wetland Management for a free site evaluation.
What Is Pond Dredging?
Sedimentation – the accumulation of sand, silt, and other types of debris at the bottom of a pond over time – can cause significant issues if left unchecked. For example, it can lower the depth of the pond and lead to poor water quality that threatens aquatic plant life, waterfowl, and other wildlife. It can even begin to erode the shoreline of the pond.
When this happens, it may become necessary to find a method to get rid of large amounts of sediment or muck, as it is often called, to safeguard the pond’s health. Dredging offers a fast, efficient solution for removing excess sediment and restoring depth in ponds.
Why Dredge a Pond
Sedimentation or excess muck can be harmful to ponds in many ways. It paves the way for nutrient loading and poor water quality, often resulting in algal blooms and the overgrowth of aquatic weeds.
Too much sedimentation also increases the chances of submersible pumps and fountains becoming clogged, which in turn increases the costs of long-term maintenance and repairs. In some cases, sedimentation can increase the risks of flooding by reducing the capacity of the pond to hold stormwater. A decrease in water depth can also limit recreation and boat access in lakes and ponds.
Benefits of Dredging Your Pond
Dredging your pond offers many benefits, such as:
- Improves aquatic ecosystem for plants, fish, and wildlife
- Removes unwanted nutrients from the sediment and water column, improving water quality
- Increases waterbody width and depth
- Allows more recreational use of the pond
The bottom line is that dredging helps restore aging lakes and ponds, allowing them to again become sustainable and healthy aquatic ecosystems.
How to Tell If a Pond Needs Dredging?
If you haven’t had your community or golf course ponds dredged in a while, there are a couple of common signs to look for that indicate that it’s time to call in a professional.
Smaller Shoreline and Shallow Water
Throughout the year, various types of organic debris, including twigs, leaves, and sediment, make their way into the depths of your pond. When fall comes, trees shed their leaves, and the rains that follow wash those leaves into the water body. Spring and summer rains bring huge amounts of runoff and with that excess amounts of sediment build up on the pond bottom.
This sediment and organic debris will cause the pond to become shallower and narrower, in effect, to shrink into wetlands.
Unsightly Algae Blooms and Aquatic Weeds
The muck that collects on the pond’s bottom consists of a huge amount of nutrients that feed algae and aquatic weeds and cause excessive growth that can use up all the oxygen in the water, causing fish and other aquatic plants to die off. These algal blooms usually happen during the warm summer months and can quickly cover the entire pond with a foul-smelling, unsightly yellow/green mat of algae.
Excessive algae blooms and aquatic weeds are a sign of nutrient loading and poor water quality, which is often caused by excess sediment levels at the bottom of the pond. This can be a sign that your pond is aging and may be in need of a sediment removal solution in order to restore ecological health.
How to Contact Expert Pond Dredgers in Florida
Muck and sediment accumulation that occurs naturally over time, if left unattended, can adversely affect the health of your pond. Eventually, dredging will be needed in almost all water bodies in order to keep pond water healthy for aquatic life and recreational activities.
At Lake and Wetland Management, we specialize in community and golf course ponds. We can help you take control of your pond and turn it back into a beautiful water haven for animals, fish, and people.