Carolina Clear – Pond Aeration

Water fountains on neighborhood or backyard ponds are nice to look at, but they can also play an important role in the health of the pond. Most ponds in our part of the Carolinas are built for flood control or water quality protection. To make these ponds a healthy, attractive part of the landscape takes a little bit of work. One of the ways to keep the pond healthy is to make sure the water contains enough oxygen.

Allen Smith with Estate Management Services says that oxygen is everything to a pond. “It is as essential to the life of a pond as it is to you, as a human. Oxygen produces aerobic bacteria that reduces nutrient load in a pond, makes a healthier environment.”

Oxygen depletion can be caused by excessive weed and algae growth, too much sediment, decomposition, pond turnover, or hot, cloudy, still weather. It is easy to tell when your pond is not healthy. Some of the symptoms include sediment in the pond, huge algae blooms, and excessive weed growth. There can also be noxious smells from the release of noxious gasses and methane gas. As these things happen, the general health of the pond declines.

Fixing an oxygen depleted pond starts with removing weeds and algae, and can even include dredging the pond. But the fastest way is to simply add an aerator to the pond. That will artificially produce oxygen into the water column. Most water fountains are for aesthetics only… they look and sound nice. While these types of fountains are not designed to add oxygen to the water, they do help a little. Aerating fountains have a dual function in they provide the look and sound that people enjoy, plus they also help add oxygen to the water. A diffusion system adds bubbles to the bottom of the pond that rise to the top. These add oxygen and provide circulation, but do not have the nice look of a fountain.

It is important to remember that most neighborhood ponds are storm water retention ponds, and are designed to capture storm water runoff. That includes everything the water carries with it… fertilizer, insecticides, animal dropping, motor oil. all these contaminates make it harder to keep these ponds healthy.

A few other ways to avoid oxygen depletion are keeping fertilizer away from the water, do not feed fish or birds, do not dump grass clippings or leaves into the water, and install plants along the shoreline to take up nutrients before they reach the pond.

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