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Plant Overgrowth, Algae, Muck – and Two Weeks Until a Wedding

written by
Linda McDonagh

A Pond in Disrepair After a Long Winter and a Cold Spring

It’s not every day that your daughter gets married, but when she does, you want to make sure it’s a beautiful one.

That’s what one pond owner was faced with as his pond thawed out from a long winter and a cold, rainy spring, developing into a weedy, mucky mess.

During this seasonal transition, it’s not unusual for ponds to slip into a state of disorder. After all, their waters, plants and organisms– from bacteria to fish – have been sequestered under ice and snow for months, cut off from vital elements such as sunlight and oxygen. These remain active during the winter, leading to sediment build-up, plant growth and algae development – exacerbated by stagnant waters.

In the case of this pond owner – whose daughter planned to hold her wedding ceremony waterside in just two weeks – his pond contained each of these issues. The pond water was stagnant, murky from high sediment levels and had mats of algae and plants floating on its surface. Not exactly a pretty sight for a wedding ceremony.

The pond prior to treatment - murky and covered in plants and algae

Water Quality Management: Assessment, Implementation and Monitoring

Clarke Aquatic Services has several decades’ worth of experience in managing and treating waterbodies of all kinds, focusing on accurate diagnoses and precise treatments to ensure long-term water wellness. We start each waterbody with a water quality assessment, then implement a prescriptive treatment plan and follow with ongoing monitoring with adjustments made as needed.

When it came to this 0.3-acre pond, our aquatic biologists started with an initial assessment to identify its water quality issues in addition to the plant species and strains of algae present – including the significant presence of duckweed (Lemna spp.) and green algae. Working with the owner’s tight two-week deadline as well as local and state regulations, the team formulated a strategy to restore the pond to a visually-pleasing condition in tandem with kickstarting its waters into working order.

Phase one of this strategy focused on treating the combination of duckweed and algae that covered the pond’s surface and improving its water clarity. To treat the plant overgrowth and algae, the team properly administered a blend of Cutrine Plus (chelated copper algicide), Tribune (diquat dibromide) and Propeller (flumioxazin). In the case of its water clarity, the team opted to address the sediment build-up by utilizing biological augmentation pellets – enzymes that digest organic matter – as well as to bolster the appearance of the water via pond water dye.

For the second phase of the project, the team returned two weeks later with the intention of applying additional herbicide and algicide to treat any remaining plant overgrowth. Upon conducting their assessments and water quality tests, it was immediately apparent that the first-round treatments had been vastly successful. The water was clear of all aquatic nuisances and the bioaugmentation pellets had already started improving the clarity of the water. In all, the pond was in great shape for the upcoming nuptials.

The pond after treatment, clear of algae and plant overgrowth

Due to this, the team determined that there was no need for further plant treatment but administered additional bioaugmentation pellets to maintain the degradation of odors and muck – an ongoing strategy recommended for many small ponds.

While further treatment steps were delayed for the wedding weekend, the Clarke aquatics team plans to take further action to fully restore the pond and help prevent future incidents of plant, algae and muck build-up. This will include ongoing biological augmentation for muck and sediment degradation, aeration installation to prevent stagnant waters and maintenance treatments as needed for plant and algae.

The Final Result: A Beautiful Pond in Working Order – With More to Come

Before and After of the Pond Combined

In all, Clarke’s aquatics team was able to accurately assess and diagnose the aquatic nuisances this pond was facing and prescribe as well as execute the correct management methods to revive its water. As part of our monitoring strategy, our aquatic biologists altered course when initial treatments for duckweed and algae proved successful – foregoing unnecessary product usage and client costs.

Clarke Aquatic Services is a licensed and insured aquatic maintenance service provider, using our years of experience and expert techniques to handle a broad range of service capabilities for lakes, ponds and other waterbodies.

Contact us today for a customized service plan or other needs, such as aeration and fountain systems, water quality management, mapping and surveying, aquatic plant management or more.

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