Blue Water Solutions for Green Water Problems
Managing your lakes and ponds without the use of pesticides
Proper lake and pond restoration is contingent with having a well prepared management plan. If you don’t start there, you’re just guessing as to which solutions will solve your problem. Successful, sustainable lake and pond management requires identifying and correcting the cause of eutrophication as opposed to simply reacting to the symptoms (algae and weed growth) of eutrophication. As such, Princeton Hydro collects and analyzes data to identify the problem causers and uses these scientific findings to develop a customized management plan for your specific lake or pond. A successful management plan should include a combination of biological, mechanical and source control solutions. Here are some examples:
Floating Wetland Islands (FWIs) are a great example of an effective biological control solution. They have the potential to provide multiple ecological benefits. Highly adaptable, FWIs can be sized, configured and planted to fit the needs of nearly any lake, pond or reservoir.
Often described as self-sustaining, Floating Wetland Islands:
- Help assimilate and remove excess nutrients that could fuel algae growth
- Provide habitat for fish and other aquatic organisms
- Help mitigate wave and wind erosion impacts
- Provide an aesthetic element
- Can be part of a holistic lake/pond management strategy
Read an article on Floating Wetland Islands written by our Aquatics Director Fred Lubnow.
Another way to combat algae and invasive weed growth is via mechanical removal. One of the mechanical controls Princeton Hydro employs is the TruxorDM5000, an eco-friendly, multi-purpose amphibious machine that provides an effective, non-pesticide approach to controlling invasive weeds and problematic algae growth.
- Is capable of operating in shallow ponds and lakes where the access and/or operation of conventional harvesting or hydroraking equipment is limited
- Is highly portable and maneuverable, yet very powerful
- Can cut and harvest weeds and collect mat algae in near-shore areas with water depths less than three feet
- Includes various attachments that allow the machine to easily collect and remove a variety of debris
- Can be outfitted for sediment removal/dredging
Because phosphorus is typically the nutrient that fuels algae and weed growth, excessive phosphorus loading leads to problematic algal blooms and can stimulate excessive weed growth. One of the most sustainable means of controlling nuisance weed and algae proliferation is to control phosphorus inputs or reduce the availability of phosphorus for biological uptake and assimilation. The measures that decrease the amount or availability of phosphorus in a lake or pond are defined as “source control” strategies.
Through data collection and analysis, we can properly identify the primary sources of phosphorus loading to a lake and pond, whether those sources are internal or external. Our team of lake managers, aquatic ecologists and water resource engineers use those data to develop a management plan that quantifies, prioritizes and correctly addresses problem sources of phosphorus.
PhosLockTM and alum are often utilized as environmentally-safe and controlled means to limit phosphorus availably. Although PhosLockTM works similar to alum, it does not have some of the inherent secondary environmental limitations associated with alum. PhosLockTM is a patented product that has a high affinity to bind to and permanently remove from the water column both soluble reactive and particulate forms of phosphorus. This makes it a very effective pond and lake management tool.
These are just a few of the examples of non-pesticide lake and pond management strategies that Princeton Hydro regularly utilizes. Properly managing your lakes and ponds starts with developing the right plan and involves a holistic approach to ensure continued success. For more ideas or for help putting together a customized, comprehensive management plan, please contact us!