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A New Approach to Combating Trash and Silt in City Ponds

Anthony Dulio at American Underwater Services is an expert in trash and silt in city ponds.  He has taken the time to put together this simple article of A New Approach to Combating Trash and Silt in City Ponds. If you have any questions about combating trash and silt in your city ponds contact Anthony about his A New Approach to Combating Trash and Silt in City Ponds article.

Prairie Meadow Park is located in the city of Plano, Texas. It features a huge playground, picnic tables, shade pavilion, and a decent sized pond. In other words, an all-American park where people can come, relax and recreate.

Over the years, the water quality of the pond has gone from crystal clear to looking like it’s been filled with sewer water. During the hot summer months, noxious and unsightly algae blooms were a regular occurrence. People would often complain about the horrible smells and discoloration of the water.

The ponds became polluted due to rainwater runoff carrying trash, muck, and debris into the water over the years. As the runoff entered the water, it made its way towards the bottom of the pond, where there is little oxygen and bacteria can’t break it down. All of this organic sediment fed massive algae blooms that started to choke the life out of the pond.

Something had to be done – but what?

The Dilemma

The city of Plano was facing a real challenge. How to clean up the pond without going over budget, damaging the park without using lots of heavy equipment, or harming the aquatic wildlife that has taken up residence over the years?

Total pond restoration was out of the question. It would cause more damage than it fixed, would have costs that could spiral out of control, and could potentially cause a fish and turtle die-off.

After researching their options, they turned to us for help. At American Underwater Services, we have helped countless cities and municipalities fix their polluted and unsightly pond and lake problems.

After the city agreed to our job proposal, we set out to clean up the unsightly pond.

Here’s a video of the job that we performed:

The Solution

Our mission was clear, even if the quality of the water wasn’t. We were tasked with cleaning the water and removing debris and organic sediment which caused the unsightly and offensive algae to bloom — but without disrupting the aquatic wildlife and causing as little damage to the surrounding grassy areas as possible.

We had our work cut out for us.

We sent in our professional divers to perform a hydraulic restoration. Our divers first suited up in their commercial diving equipment. Once all pre-dive safety checks had been gone over, the site supervisor gave the divers the all clear to enter the water.

Once inside, they were then passed a large underwater vacuum cleaner that essentially sucked up the organic sediment that was causing the pond to undergo unsightly algae blooms. If the diver came across any non-organic debris such as a shopping cart, discarded bike, or other trash, then would stop vacuuming and work with the land crew to remove the hazard.

Now here’s where things get interesting and pretty cool.

The Disposal

Once the water and organic sediment were sucked up off the bottom of the pond, it had to be cleaned. Before entering the water, our divers set up what looked like several huge bags that were 30 feet wide and 100 feet long. These bags can hold thousands of gallons of water and sediment at one time.

The way this system works is that once the water and muck are sucked off the bottom of the pond, they’re transported a short way up the bank to the self-contained bags. The muck and organic debris are then filtered out, and clean water then comes out the other end which immediately makes its way back down to the pond.

The City of Plano estimated that we pulled around 3,300 yards of unwanted sediment out of the pond. Once the job is complete, and the bags are full, we will load them onto a dump truck and remove them off-site. All that’s left is a clean pond that will provide a better quality of life for all birds and aquatic animals that call the pond home.

Best of all, when the hot summer months arrive, visitors won’t be bombarded by the foul, offensive odors that are caused by out-of-control algae blooms due to the excess organic sediment on the bottom of the pond.

Pond Cleaning Services by American Underwater Services

If your city pond looks like it has seen better days, give us a call at (817) 377-8512. At American Underwater Services, we have decades of experience helping cities and municipalities clean up their ponds and waterways. Contact us to learn more about how our services can help not only improve your ponds, lakes, and rivers, but improve the quality of life for all who recreate and live nearby.




Anthony Di Iulio the founder, president and co-owner of American Underwater Services, Inc., started his business in 1999 with only three employees. Today this commercial diving company employs nearly 30 people and handles over 500 projects annually. Anthony moved to Fort Worth from Louisiana with his family in 1976. He worked summers during high school welding underwater for a marina on Benbrook Lake. Eventually he took scuba lessons after almost drowning on the job. Those lessons led him to training at a deep sea diving school in Houston, which included training on offshore oil rigs. Anthony spent several years in Louisiana working on offshore rigs and on inland jobs at power plants and dams before starting American Underwater Services, Inc.


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