Carolina Clear – Avoiding Excess Nutrients

This summer WBTW and Carolina Clear are following the care of a stormwater pond in Carolina Forest.

Earlier this summer, we installed plants along the banks of the pond, and a floating landscape in the middle. Both of these will help improve the water quality of the pond. Another strategy to keeping the pond healthy is to improve the quality of the water coming in.

Ben Powell with Clemson Extension says “In a pond when we put too many nutrients in there we start to grow too many things. Algae, excess bacteria, additional things that are demanding oxygen and resources from that pond.

Excess nutrients can be found in fertilizer we put on our lawns, in pet waste, and due to an over population of waterfowl. This can damage a pond by causing algae blooms, low oxygen levels, fish kills and bad smells.

“When we fertilize our lawns, we don’t want to fertilize right at the edge, right next to the pond. There will be plenty of nutrients there. and we want to make sure we are putting out the right amount of fertilizer. We also can pick up after our pets and our dogs when we are out walking them, making sure that’s not a source washing off. And let’s think about the things that live in that pond. If we are feeding them, such as the geese and the turtles and the fish, we are probably not helping them in the long run.” Ben Powell, Clemson Extension

All easy habits to follow that will go a long way to making storm water cleaner, which will improve the health of storm water retention ponds.

A soil test is a good way to find out how much fertilizer your lawn needs. Any Clemson County Extension will test two cups of soil for six dollars. This will help avoid over fertilizing.

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