HOA ponds, also known as stormwater retention ponds, are an important component of the drainage system of your community. They help prevent localized flooding by slowing down or completely suppressing large deluges of water that arise from a rainfall event.
They also retain water for a sufficient period of time such that any attached sediment and pollutants will settle down to the bottom of the pond. The cleansed water is then released into nearby streams and bigger bodies of water.
It’s the job of the Homeowner’s Association to ensure that these bodies of water are working as intended. However, this comes with additional responsibility. HOA ponds are usually located nearby homes. This places an extra burden on the HOA manager to ensure that the ponds are clean and free from unsightly (and often noxious smelling) algae outbreaks.
Before we show you how to keep your water crystal-clear, we want to talk about the two leading causes of dirty HOA pond water:
Whenever a rainstorm hits, water is washed downhill from streets, driveways, and backyards. As it flows down to the retention pond, it collects various chemicals and pollutants along the way.
The increased pollutants in the water column of the pond can cause phosphorus, nitrite, and nitrate levels to rise exponentially, thereby creating the necessary ingredients for a nuisance algae bloom.
Not only will the pond be covered in a thick green mat of unsightly algae, but it can also cause a fish die-off—and that can create some pretty smelly odors for those who live downwind.
Organic debris, such as leaves and pet waste, will eventually find their way down to the bottom of the pond. The beneficial bacteria that would normally eat this organic matter cannot live at these depths. As time goes by, a massive pile of organic muck starts to grow in size.
This muck can not only offset the delicate water chemistry but will also add tremendous amounts of nitrites and nitrates into the water. Algae blooms will then take hold as the muck below provides a continuous source of nutrients.
How to Keep your HOA Pond Water Clear
While dirty pond water is something all HOA community managers will need to deal with at some point in time, there are a few things that you can do to help ensure that it won’t happen regularly:
Chemical Water Treatments
If you have the budget for it, you can buy various chemical water treatments that will keep the water crystal-clear. However, this often comes at a price. In addition to the regularly recurring cost, some of the treatments can introduce toxic chemicals that might get ingested by the pets of local residents, wildlife, or get inadvertently get sent downstream to a bigger body of water.
Create a Sense of Community
Homeowners are responsible for a fair amount of the pollutants that are washed downstream into the stormwater retention ponds. A relatively inexpensive way to attack this problem head-on is to create a sense of community awareness. You can print up and distribute flyers that explain the dangers of using certain fertilizers or chemical products to wash driveways.
Inform local residents of how they can do their part to help combat pollutants being washed into the HOA ponds during a rainfall event. This will lead to much less frequent algae outbreaks if local homeowners start to become more conscious of the chemical products they use in and around their homes.
By far, the best way to help ensure your stormwater retention ponds stay clean and clear is to have them dredged once or twice a year. Mechanical dredging will remove the bottom layer of organic muck that’s responsible for the nuisance algae outbreaks. Best of all, it can be re-used as highly nutritious organic fertilizer for the common areas of the HOA community.
A pond that’s clean and clear of unsightly brown-yellow algae mats on the surface can also increase the value of nearby homes. The opposite is just as true. Nobody is going to want to buy a house where they have a view (or smell) of an unsightly stormwater retention pond.
Nationwide Pond Dredging Services
At American Underwater Services, we can help you regain the crystal-clear water quality you once had by dredging out the organic sediment that is the root cause of cloudy water issues. No pond is too big or too small, and we can travel to any state in the U.S.
If you manage an HOA community, golf course, or are a homeowner and have any questions about your ponds, give us a call at (866) 594-1272. We have over 20 years of experience in helping HOA’s, golf courses, and homeowner dredge their ponds.