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Is Algae Good or Bad for Your HOA or Golf Course Ponds?

“Algae” is often used as a blanket term to describe many organisms living in water. Algae help keep the pond healthy and maintain ecological balance.

We will examine the various kinds of algae and share what you can do to help prevent nuisance blooms from occurring and potentially damaging the ecosystem of your ponds.

What Problems Do Algae Blooms Cause?

Algae blooms most often occur during the hot months of the year. The intense UV rays of the warm sun cause a chain reaction, which can lead to a massive algae bloom. As the algae start to multiply out of control, they consume oxygen and release carbon dioxide. This respiration can choke the oxygen and life out of a pond. 

You might notice an ugly yellow or green foam mat on the top of the water or smell a highly offensive odor that some algae blooms give off. These nuisance algae blooms usually occur in shallow ponds where oxygen is limited. Without an aerator or running water, oxygen levels can be depleted quickly.

Fish and other aquatic wildlife that depend on oxygen-rich water can die off in mass, even during a mild algae bloom. Different forms of algae are highly toxic to both animals and humans. These outbreaks usually require a professional water sample to be taken and analyzed by a laboratory.

What are Common Types of Algae?

Algae commonly occur in all types of water, ranging from fresh to saltwater and even salty water. They will inhabit lakes, ponds, rivers, and even puddles of water that don’t evaporate. Typically, they’re part of a delicate ecosystem and provide food for animals higher up on the food chain.

HOA and golf course personnel typically observe algae when it has already caused damage. By that point, a bloom has already occurred, and the harm has been done. During an outbreak, the water can lose oxygen, causing fish to die, and an infestation may be difficult to clean up.

Here are a few common types of algae that you can find in your golf course or HOA ponds:


Macroalgae are multicellular organisms usually found in marine environments more than in freshwater. Since they’re multicellular, these algae have root-like stems and resemble the common aquatic plant.

Macroalgae often compete against other plants for food and sunlight and, if left unchecked, can take over an entire pond. Starry Stonewort is a common macroalgae considered a freshwater invasive species. It can choke the life out of a pond and cause an imbalance in the ecosystem.

Planktonic Algae

Planktonic algae are the most prolific of all algae species. They form a diverse group, with some being unicellular and others forming massive colonies. Planktonic algae come in various colors, from red to green to blue.

They form the bottom of the food chain and provide life to the entire ecosystem. When they bloom out of control, the water will appear dyed a strange color. It is very challenging to get rid of them. Nets and other tools are useless to remove them.

If the conditions causing the bloom are left unchecked and untreated, it will cover the entire surface area of the water and remove all oxygen. A massive die-off will soon ensue. Certain species of Cyanobacteria, which are more commonly known as “blue-green algae,” are toxic to fish, pets, and humans.

Filamentous Algae

These algae look like green slime mats on the top of the water as if someone had dumped an entire 55-gallon barrel of toxic waste into the pond. If your pond has high calcium and phosphorous levels, it could lead to a filamentous algae outbreak.

Nutrient-rich water from not having your ponds dredged every year can also cause nuisance blooms. Once the algae grow, they can choke the life out of any small or medium-sized body of water.

How to Prevent HOA and Golf Course Pond Blooms

Dredge your HOA or Golf Course pond at least once a year. The process removes much of the organic muck at the bottom, contributing significantly to poor and nutrient-rich water conditions. If you last had your ponds or lakes dredged a while ago, call (817) 377-8512.

At American Underwater Services, we specialize in dredging HOA and community ponds and bodies of water. We service all ponds, lakes, and bodies of water nationwide. We will come to you.

Our services will help increase the life of your pond, remove foul smells, and remove the harmful nutrients that cause nuisance algae or plant outbreaks. Contact us today to find out how we can help clean your pond.



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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