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How Do I Know If My Pond Needs Dredging?

If you’re a homeowner, golf course, or HOA manager, you might have heard that your pond will eventually need to be dredged to help ensure it doesn’t dry up and turn into a swamp. From the second that your man-made pond was originally filled with water, it began a natural cycle that will eventually lead to its slow decline as the years and decades go by.

Silt and sediment will make their way into the pond and start to cause all sorts of problems, such as nuisance algae outbreaks, fish and animal die-offs, and ultimately—a shallow swamp that’s filled with cattails and murky water that’s entangled with weeds.

By performing annual or semi-annual dredging on your pond, you can help extend its life indefinitely and ensure that a healthy and visually appealing ecosystem will thrive.
We want to share with you a few tips on how you can 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 several feet of sediment, or muck as it’s commonly called. There are several ways to go about this process, but it’s mostly done with a small boat or barge that has an oversized vacuum cleaner attached to it. The dredgers will work a grid pattern as they remove the organic sediment.

As the muck is sucked up off the bottom, it’s deposited into a collection device that’s often referred to as an “eco bag.”  They are made out of heavy-duty material and are strategically placed along the shoreline. Tiny little holes allow excess water to leave the bag. After the job is completed, the resulting muck that’s been dredged up from the bottom of the pond can be re-used as a nutrient-rich fertilizer for plants and flowers.

How to 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 that it accumulates. If you haven’t had your golf course or HOA ponds dredged in a while or you just bought a house and are unsure when the last time the pond was dredged, there are three signs that will let you know it’s time to call in the professionals:

Shallow Water and Smaller Shorelines

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

All of this organic debris and sediment will cause your pond to start to shrink and become shallow in water depth. At first, you may not notice it as most ponds are 8-9 feet in depth. By the time you start to see weed piling up in the center, it’s a sign that a major 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 mat of algae.

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 requires 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’re starting to notice fewer birds, fish, and animals, it might be time to dredge the pond. The excess nutrients in the water column can cause an imbalance that will discourage wildlife from visiting or living in the water.

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

Nation-Wide Expert Pond Dredgers

At American Underwater Services, we specialize in HOA, golf course, farm, 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. Give us a call today at (866) 594-1272 to learn more about our nationwide pond dredging and cleaning services. Although we are based in Fort Worth, we can travel anywhere in the continental U.S. to help you with your dredging needs.

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AUTHOR ANTHONY DI IULIO

AUTHOR ANTHONY DI IULIO

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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