Ponds transform golf courses, HOA communities and other outdoor spaces into a beautiful oasis. While adding a pond to your community or business attracts people to your space, the Florida climate can sometimes pose a few challenges. Over time, ponds have a tendency to get murky and stagnant water can generate an unsavory odor. Knowing how to clean a pond helps you keep yours beautiful and inviting to residents and guests.
Perform Regular Perimeter Checks
The easiest way to keep a pond clean is to prevent trash and other debris from accumulating near or in the water. Have your maintenance crew check around the perimeter of the pond daily or at least weekly. Picking up leaves, twigs and branches keeps the pond from getting filled with organic matter that contributes to cloudiness. Removing wrappers and other types of trash protects the fish in the pond and prevents the introduction of unnatural chemicals into the water.
Monitor for Algae Growth
Weeds and algae grow fast, and they can quickly turn into a major pond maintenance issue. Checking your pond at least once a week helps you keep a handle on their growth. If you do have a problem with algae, then pond management companies in Florida can help you out with special treatments that keep the water clear. Algae treatments consist of natural bacteria and other components that are safe for fish and desirable plant life.
Focus On Aeration
Aeration sends vital oxygen throughout the pond water that prevents fish from dying off and algae from blooming. Fountains and surface aerators also keep the water moving so that you don’t get that stagnant odor that deters people from visiting the area. Regular inspections of the aeration system lets you know when it is time for repairs so that the water doesn’t get murky.
Keep Fish Populations Under Control
People love coming to ponds where they can enjoy seeing fish swimming around, and your water feature might even be an opportunity for people to go fishing. Healthy fish in your pond are a good indication that the water is clean. However, issues can arise when the pond gets overcrowded. Too many fish can lead to a large build up of waste, and the excess waste can feed algae. Making sure to keep fish populations within reasonable levels for the pond size helps to keep the water cleaner for longer.
Watch the Water Temperature
Warm water contributes to algae growth, and it only takes a few days for this to begin to show in your pond. The ideal water temperature for ponds is around 75 degrees Fahrenheit. This can be hard to maintain during the heat of the summer, but aeration helps by keeping the water in circulation.
A clean pond adds to the aesthetics of your property, and it can also help prevent flooding by serving as a collection area for stormwater runoff. Keeping your pond clean and clear prevents costly maintenance needs in the future and adds a lovely feature that enhances the natural environment of your outdoor space.
There are a variety of factors that go into the quality of a particular body of water. The term "water quality" goes beyond simply the clarity of the water. It encompasses the aesthetics and overall health of the water. The properties that go into creating a quality water source are beneficial for the communities surrounding them as well as for the aquatic life within. Read on to learn more about how to test the water quality of your lake, along with what affects water condition and how to maintain it.
How to Test Water Quality
There are various parameters that can be measured when it comes to the condition of your water. Simple pH tests can be performed with a kit. Bacterial load, turbidity and other factors may require more sophisticated electronic sensors and other equipment. In addition, some elements will need to be tested and monitored repeatedly over time. Often times, standards for these parameters are set by certain governing bodies. Lake management companies in Florida have the expertise and knowledge to ensure that measurements are taken correctly and that standards are met.
Reasons to Test Water Quality
Lakes serve the community by providing recreation, irrigation and aesthetics. The primary use of a body of water will determine which parameters are measured and to what extent each matters. Turbidity, or clarity, isn't that important for a lake that is being used solely for irrigation. A lake that is meant for mostly swimming doesn't require precise pH levels. Florida lakes that are used for things like fishing, swimming and aesthetics should be monitored for specific factors. These include phosphate and nitrate levels, alkalinity, bacteria types, dissolved oxygen and turbidity. If nutrient levels are excessively high, an overgrowth of algae can occur, leading to poor aesthetics and potential harm to fish. Bacteria levels that are too high can make swimming and water consumption unsafe.
If the water quality is low or degraded, the surrounding community and environment can be negatively impacted. A polluted lake may be unsafe for swimming. It can also harm the fish and organisms that live in that water. Land values are also often adversely affected by poor water quality. That's because people will perceive the lake to be of low value and won't desire to live or build near it.
How Often to Monitor Lake Water Quality
It's best to be proactive with monitoring and testing of lake water. Being able to notice evidence of foul odor or algae overgrowth may actually prove to be too late. It can prove to be harmful to water life or make swimming unsafe by that point. Rather than waiting, you'll want to undertake regular testing and monitoring. Professional lake management companies in Florida can best advise you on proper quality management for your particular lake, depending on its use and purpose.
Now that you have an idea of how to test the quality of water in your lake and why it's so important, you can take steps to ensure your lake will be healthy and clean for the organisms that live within it as well as for the surrounding community.
Did you know there are beneficial bacteria in lakes and ponds? While some algae and microorganisms make the water murky and cause damage to aquatic life, good bacteria work to break down dead organic material. There are various types of beneficial bacteria for your ponds and lakes that work together to get rid of organic compounds. Let's take a look at some of these beneficial bacteria and why they are so important for your pond.
Two primary types of pond bacteria include aerobic and anaerobic. Aerobic bacteria break down organic compounds with the use of oxygen. This process is quite rapid. Conversely, anaerobic don't require the use of oxygen, but they don't perform nearly as quickly. They both break these organic compounds down through their production of natural enzymes. The beneficial bacteria use these enzymes to absorb the broken down compounds into their own cells where they use them for nutrition.
Some bacteria perform a process known as denitrification. This process removes nitrate from ponds by turning it into nitrogen gas. Another harmful element they're able to remove is phosphorous. They remove this soluble phosphorous from the water column, turning it into calcium phosphate and calcium iron phosphate. These minerals are both insoluble, not available to most harmful pond algae.
This unavailability works to cut down on these damaging algae populations, making your pond cleaner and aiding in the health of aquatic life The ratio of nitrogen to phosphorous is critical when it comes to algae growth. If you have too much phosphorous, detrimental types of algae are encouraged to flourish. In addition to controlling the nitrogen/phosphorous ratio, beneficial bacteria can serve as a useful food source to things like zooplankton and benthos, which can go on to feed fish and other water life.
Lake and pond management companies in Florida can assist in the culture of beneficial bacteria. These bacteria can then be introduced to your pond to manage the decomposition and nutrient removal process known as biological water quality augmentation. As these bacteria develop, they disperse mainly to the sides and bottom of your water body. These areas are where the decomposition of organic matter occurs. Some bacteria will stay in the water column to process soluble nutrients and dead phytoplankton.
There are many different types of bacteria that can help with the breakdown of organic compounds. Some use aerobic bacteria to specifically destroy stubborn organisms. There are also bacteria formulations meant for maintenance purposes. They handle most types of organic waste degradation and improve overall water quality. Adding an aeration system such as a fountain or aerator can also assist in optimizing bacterial metabolism. Expert lake and pond management companies in Florida can work to develop a plan that targets and treats issues specific to your water source and that can best accommodate your budget.
Florida is home to some of the world’s most beloved family attractions, but it is also known for the natural beauty found in the state’s wetlands. Wetlands provide a number of environmental and ecological benefits, making them a vital part of Florida's landscape. Whether you simply want to enjoy natural beauty or you want to protect Florida’s coastal properties from storm damage, the importance of conserving wetlands in Florida can not be overstated.
According to leading wetland management companies in Florida, below are just a few of the many reasons why the state’s wetlands need protection:
Wetlands Control Floodwaters and Streams
When excessive rain hits Florida, water levels rise in lakes and streams. This can lead to dangerous and destructive flooding, but wetlands can absorb much of this excess moisture to prevent flash flooding. As an added benefit, the moisture stored in wetland soils can replenish streams during periods of drought.
Wetlands Prevent Excessive Erosion
Erosion is a big concern in the maintenance of streams and rivers, but wetlands can protect against this danger because vegetation in these areas becomes intertwined with soil and creates a stronger bond. This leads to less erosion, but it can also protect against sedimentation shift downstream. This ultimately results in a more efficient flow of water, and it can also reduce the risk of flooding since strong riverbanks and stream beds are vital for the containment of flowing water.
Wetlands Clean Groundwater and Provide Water Supply
Believe it or not, some areas of Florida depend exclusively on wetlands for their fresh water supply. For example, Miami relies on the Biscayne Aquifer for drinking water, and this can only happen thanks to the water that comes from the surrounding Everglades wetlands region.
Wetlands clean and purify drinking water as well by removing sediment and contaminants that are naturally pulled from the moisture. The abundance of detoxifying green plants in wetlands areas can remove potentially harmful toxins naturally, meaning artificial filtration is less costly and requires fewer resources compared to other areas of the country.
Wetlands are a Natural Habitat for Wildlife
Florida’s wetlands are also home to many animals, including amphibians, birds and mammals. In fact, some animals, like sandhill cranes and wood ducks, utilize Florida’s wetlands as a winter getaway when the weather turns cold further north. Without proper management and conservation efforts, a major disruption in the ecosystem of the United States could occur, potentially leading to a change in migratory habits and major ecological changes elsewhere in the country.
On top of that, some endangered species seek refuge in Florida’s wetlands, including American crocodiles and whooping cranes. These species could possibly go extinct without the conservation of Florida’s wetlands.
If you’re concerned about Florida’s wetlands or would like to learn more about how you can help to preserve these majestic and vital areas, contact wetlands management companies in Florida. A representative from one of these companies can provide you with ideas about how you can get involved and protect plants, animals and natural structures for a brighter, greener and cleaner future for everyone in Florida’s wetlands regions.
Erosion occurs differently depending on the climate, geographical location, human beings and other factors specific to a site. Land and pond management companies in Florida are faced with different types of soil erosion when selling certain types of property. Erosion can directly impact water quality which can be detrimental to environmental areas as well as recreational such as golf courses.
Rain and runoff are common causes of erosion. Rain running off a roof, cliff or other higher level can cause damage when it consistently hits a lower level.
Water rushing along the side of a road or through a field can disturb the ecosystem of the land. Unrealized seepage is one major natural cause of gullies. Man causes gullies by poor planning of waterway construction, clearing treed areas and deforestation. Over grazing by cattle and sheep is another cause of gullies.
2. Splash Erosion
Even gently falling rain can lead to erosion depending on where it falls. An area with little vegetation can be destroyed after years of nothing to hold the soil in place. This is called splash erosion.
3. Sheet Erosion
This type of erosion is related to rain as the damage done after a rainfall. Puddles can hide the harm being done to the soil as it erodes the upper level and leaves lower levels susceptible to further destruction. Bare roots and areas of soil with no vegetation are often signs of sheet erosion.
4. Rill Erosion
Sheet erosion and other surface types of erosion can lead to rill erosion. Little tributaries form under the surface and can cause the ground to grow to the size of a hill while the rill burrows underneath destroying the durability of the ground. A piece of land can be secretly destroyed which would warrant it unsafe for some types of building.
5. Bank Erosion
Erosion of the banks of a river or other waterway can be caused by improper shoring up. Water rushing by or putting pressure on the soil over time can cause the top layers to move away from more delicate layers. This leaves the under-layers to be moved and dismantled to cause erosion.
6. Tunnel Erosion
Tunnel erosion is like a serious case of underground seepage. Water flowing more and more quickly will turn into an underground gulley, taking with it the necessary elements for healthy soil. The stronger the flow, the more intense the ability to move more dense types of ground such as clay. This leaves the integrity of the land open to damage that can become a sinkhole in a worse case scenario.
7. Water Erosion
Water erosion comes in many forms. It can be manmade or caused by nature. The direction of the water’s flow can determine the erosion of an area and the extent to which it affects the land. Erosion can be caused in deserts or areas of vegetation.
Erosion of your lake can be prevented by ensuring that native vegetation surrounds it to reduce bank erosion. Larger lakes may require that you place a retaining wall to keep the walls from falling into the water. It is possible to promote a healthy ecosystem within your lake as you keep the soil in and around it from eroding.
At Crosscreek Environmental, we believe in providing a comprehensive, environmentally friendly approach in creating solutions to maintain the beauty and health of Florida's ponds, lakes, wetlands, and shorelines. We use the B.E.S.T.™ geo-tube solution and are one of the best geo-tube solution providers in the state of Florida.