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How Do I Know If My Pond Needs Dredging?

If you own a home with a pond, manage a golf course, or oversee an HOA, you may know that your pond will eventually require dredging to prevent it from drying up or becoming a swamp. Since your man-made pond was filled with water, it has started a natural cycle that will gradually cause it to decline.

Silt and sediment enter the pond and start to cause all sorts of problems, such as nuisance algae outbreaks, fish and wildlife kills, and, ultimately, a shallow swamp filled with cattails and murky water entangled with weeds.

By performing annual or semi-annual dredging on your pond, you can help extend its life and ensure that a healthy and visually appealing ecosystem will thrive.

Here are a few tips on how to tell if your HOA, golf course, or home pond needs the services of a professional dredger to protect and beautify your body of water.

What is Pond Dredging?

Dredging a pond is the process of removing sediment, or muck, as it’s commonly called. There are several ways to do this, but it’s typically performed with a small boat or barge equipped with an oversized vacuum cleaner. The dredgers work in a grid pattern, removing the organic sediment from the bottom.

The muck is deposited into a collection device, often called an “eco bag.” It is made of heavy-duty material and strategically placed along the shoreline. Tiny holes allow excess water to leave the bag. After the job is completed, the resulting muck can be reused as a nutrient-rich fertilizer for plants and flowers.

How do I tell if my pond needs Dredging?

The average pond should be dredged once or twice a year, depending on the size and amount of organic debris and sediment it accumulates. If your golf course or HOA pond has not been dredged in a while, or you are unsure when the last time it was dredged, these signs will tell you if it’s time to call in the professionals:

Shallow Water and Smaller Shorelines

Over any given year, various forms of organic debris, such as leaves, twigs, and sediment, will make their way into the bottom of your pond. Trees shed their leaves in the fall, and the ensuing rains will wash that debris into the pond. During spring and summer rainstorms, hundreds of pounds of sediment will enter the body of water and make their way to the bottom.

This organic debris and sediment will cause your pond to shrink and become shallow in water depth. You may not notice it initially, as most ponds are 8-9 feet deep. When you start to see weeds piling up in the center, it’s a sign that significant dredging is required.

Algae Outbreaks

The muck at the bottom of the pond contains a vast amount of nutrients that will feed the algae and cause an outbreak that can suck up all the oxygen and cause fish and plants to die off. These blooms often occur in the warm summer months and can cover an entire body of water with a foul-smelling yellow/green algae mat.

In some situations, the algae can become toxic to both humans and animals who touch it. These blue-green algae are often hard to identify by visual sight alone and usually require the services of a laboratory to confirm their presence.

Dredging the muck off the bottom of the pond can help limit and prevent these unsightly and potentially dangerous outbreaks from occurring.

Less Aquatic Wildlife and Excess Plant Life

If you notice fewer birds, fish, and animals, it might be time to dredge the pond. Excess nutrients in the water column can cause an imbalance that discourages wildlife from visiting or living in the water.

Excess plant life is another sign that your pond needs dredging. Weeds, cattails, and other nuisance plants thrive on the nutrient-rich waters of undredged ponds. If left unchecked, they will eventually take over the entire surface of the water and rapidly accelerate the pond’s demise.

Nationwide Expert Pond Dredgers

At American Underwater Services, we specialize in HOA, golf courses, farms, and homeowner pond dredging. We can help you regain control over your ponds and turn them into crystal-clear water havens for fish, animals, and people alike. Call us today at (817) 377-8512 to learn more about our nationwide pond dredging and cleaning services. We can travel anywhere in the continental U.S. to help you with your dredging needs.




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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