As the weather starts to heat up during the summertime months, many HOA and golf course pond managers will begin to see an increase in nuisance algae and other issues that can cause headaches.
Extended sunlight hours will contribute significantly to the problem. As these algae blooms start to take hold, they can literally choke the life out of a once-pristine pond and turn it into an unsightly and foul-smelling pit of muck.
We want to share with you a few tips on how golf course and HOA community managers can perform some simple maintenance that will help keep your ponds looking great throughout the hot weather months ahead.
Perform Water Tests
One of the first things you’ll need to do is test the quality of the water. This will provide you with a baseline and will enable you to make intelligent and cost-effective decisions about exactly what kind and type of maintenance you’ll need to perform.
For example, do your ponds contain fish and various types of water plants? If so, you’ll need to keep an eye on the PH, nitrite, and nitrate levels. Many types of fish and plants are only able to survive in a narrow band of water parameters. Any deviation outside of this can cause health problems or die-offs.
While you can hire a professional to do so, it’s often more cost-effective to buy a kit on Amazon or other professional pond supply shop and have one of the maintenance personnel perform the water tests. This will allow your maintenance crew to be proactive in their efforts to keep the bodies of water clean and clear.
Algae outbreaks are a common occurrence in the summertime months. They can cause thousands of dollars in maintenance repair bills and, in some cases, will give off offensive odors that will cause homeowners and golfers alike to complain.
Algae blooms occur when the hot sun shines down on nutrient-rich waters. They will multiply rapidly and form an unsightly mat of yellow-green muck on the surface of the water. As the algae outbreak grows, it will consume most of the oxygen in the water, thereby leading to a fish and plant die-off. In some cases, the algae can turn toxic to any human or animal that touches it.
The leaves and other organic debris that fell to the ground during the fall and wintertime will make their way into the bottom of the pond. There is very little oxygen at these depths and even less beneficial bacteria to break down the organic matter. The end result is debris that piles up and doesn’t decompose. It will continue to accumulate, build up, and give off various nutrients that feed the algae blooms for many years to come.
The best way to prevent a nuisance algae outbreak is to dredge the pond at least once a year. Dredging removes the layer of organic muck that resides at the bottom of the pond that feeds the algae blooms. After the dredging process is completed, you have the option of keeping the organic muck that’s been dredged and drained—it is some of the best fertilizer imaginable and completely eco-friendly!
Does your golf course or HOA pond use mechanical equipment to aerate the ponds or pull water for irrigation? Now is the ideal time to send a maintenance crew out to inspect the pipes, tubes, and mechanical parts to clear away any blockages. The last thing you want to do is have something break down in the dead of winter when the repair options are costly and limited. If you find that you need commercial divers to help inspect your HOA or golf water systems contact us right away before the damage to your body of water gets too bad.
Depending on what type of plants you have grown in and around your pond, you may need to perform some preventative plant maintenance. This not only helps from an aesthetic standpoint but can keep the plant ecosystem healthy during the warm summer months when the oxygen supply in the water is limited.
Invasive insects are another concern. If your pond has water lilies and similar plants, an insect called the lily beetle will lay their eggs on top of it. When their larvae hatch, they will start to consume the plant at a rapid pace. Lilies will begin to look like swiss cheese and eventually die. The best solution to this pest problem is to regularly prune the lilies when you notice signs of brown discoloration.
HOA, Private, or Golf Course Pond Management
At American Underwater Services, we specialize in helping HOA’s, golf courses, and private homeowners dredge their ponds of the muck that can cause unsightly and costly problems.
While it is best to dredge your pond every year, we can remove decades of harmful organic and sediment build-up which is responsible or the unsightly and unsafe algae blooms. Our pond dredging services will help improve property values and quality of life of both homeowners and golfers alike. Contact us today to discuss your pond cleaning or dredging needs.