We received a call in July regarding a pond in Clifton that had become completely filled end to end with waterchestnut, one of Virginia's worst invasive weeds. It was hard to find any water when we evaluated.
In Virginia, waterchestnut is one of the worst invasive floating weeds. Waterchestnut has a 7 or 8 foot coiled up floating root structure under the main plant. The owners had no choice but to use a "selective herbicide" that would not hurt grass, other plants or aquatic life. The herbicide was designed to break down and go away naturally in 14 days, After a few weeks only the weeds around the edge of the pond died and disappeared . We raked the dying weeds around the pond to create a good water barrier for aquatic life, then the weeds in the middle were treated .
After the weeds all died and decomposed or were removed we began weekly treatments of Aquaritin diatom promoter and beneficial bacteria. The owners wisely had us install an aerator with two heads and continue the Aquaritin and beneficial bacteria treatments. After just a few weeks there were no traces of any chemical residual, and we could see the bottom of the pond clearly nearly all the way across where it was only three feet deep.
Continued maintenance treatments for the water health, aquatic health and oxygen by using diatom promoter. Additionally beneficial bacteria should be used to continue reducing thick muck and new leaves as well as support the diatoms. Pond is under maintenance contract so we monitor and treat including bio-dredging on a monthly basis. We plan on installing a fountain with lights this spring.
Our client dredged a 100 year old pond on his property to increase the depth throughout the pond. This unfortunately released a lot of pockets of pollution in the soil. He also observed a lot of geese visiting his pond after he refilled it and attributed much pollution to the geese. We found pondweed had taken root throughout the pond, even in 8 ft of water. The pond was well designed and stocked with bluegill and bass.
We believed the pondweed was thriving on pollution and regardless of the source we felt confident that if we eliminated the pollution we could starve out the pondweed WITHOUT USING ANY PESTICIDES NOR HARSH CHEMICALS OR HERBICIDES. We installed an aerator and began treating with double treatments of Aquaritin diatom promoter along with some beneficial bacteria to consume the excess nutrients.
Within ONLY 30 DAYS after the four double doses of Aquaritin, beneficial bacteria and the aerator running 24/7 along with bulk removal of the existing pondweed by hauling it into boats like fishing nets, we snorkeled the pond and found that the only pondweed left was growing in one or two feet of water only by the stream that enters into the pond and a few plants on the shoreline. Other than that the pond was weed free!
Owner obtained a permit for 10 Triploid Carp and had them delivered in the fall. Continue maintenance treatments for the water health, aquatic health and oxygen by using diatom promoter. Additionally beneficial bacteria is be used to clarify the water.
Our client purchased a property in March and by April realized the pond that came with the property was a problem and wanted to do something to make it a nice pond. They called several pond consultants, companies but we convinced them that our nonprofit had the best plan for the most reasonable treatment plan costs.
In Virginia, watershield is one of the worst invasive weeds. This pond was loaded with watershield then started growing lily pads in the middle as well. The owners had no choice but to use a "selective herbicide" that would not hurt grass, other plants or aquatic life. The herbicide was designed to break down and go away naturally, but after three weeks we raked some of the dead weed and started treating the water to regain aquatic health and oxygen by using diatom promoter and beneficial bacteria at the same time to attack some of the very thick muck we encountered. After a few months a second treatment of selective herbicide and that finished off the weed growth leaving the pond clean and clear.
After treatment, by August we were able to see the pond bottom across the pond and the owners were able to enjoy their pond. The after photo to the left simply has a bunch of leaves fallen on top as the warmer weather and wind blew leaves into the pond before the photo was taken. They recently sent me a video taken on their phone showing aquatic life in the pond. That was some clear water!
Continue maintenance treatments for the water health, aquatic health and oxygen by using diatom promoter. Additionally beneficial bacteria should be used to continue reducing thick muck as well as support the diatoms. Pond should be monitored to react to new weed growth and signs of needs for water treatment plan adjustments.
We received a call in July regarding a pond in Sterling that had problems every year with heavy algae growth.
Although our initial inspection also found issues with the pond shoreline which needed to be re-enforced to prevent runoff and severe erosion, we were confident that we could clean up the water. We showed the owner how to treat the pond and once we had the correct dosages, the pond water was clean in 5 weekly treatments of Aquaritin and Beneficial Bacteria.
After the algae was all gone the pond still had problems with erosion and suspended clay particles but the owner opted not to address that issue at this time.
We advised the owner to reinforce the banks of the pond with a retaining wall or with proper deep rooted plants grown six or more feet wide around the pond. After they fix the runoff and erosion issues we hope to return to clarify the pond,
Pond 1, after glycol spill.
Pond 1, leg section; lots of glycol.
Our client is a national commercial construction
company working on many projects. At one site a bad glycol spill occurred in one of two retention ponds. Before consulting us someone decided to pump large amounts of pond water that had the glycol in it into the other pond in an attempt to dilute the chemical. Afterwards, the result was they had two contaminated ponds; and responsibly plugged both ponds so no contaminated water would exit into the local drainage system. Pond 1 was about 3.5 million gallons and Pond 2 was about 6.5 million gallons. We were called at the end of September. They had begun to add aeration. The starting metrics from an independent lab for the ponds were Pond 1: 9/16/2021 - pH 4.19 ; DO 0.51 ; Glycol 1,080 mg/L. Pond 2 was not measured until after water from Pond 1 was pumped into Pond 2. Then Pond 2 metrics pH 6.24 ; DO 0.38 ; Glycol Not Detected. Both ponds had extreme odor levels and Pond 1 turned green (was originally brown/red clay bottom colored as it was newer).
Our research showed that all glycol was broken down by bacteria and the proper beneficial bacteria could be used at safe, but high doses along with Aquaritin at double doses, weekly. Additionally the construction company deployed dozens of aeration heads and several fountains. The double doses of beneficial bacteria and Aquaritin eliminated the odor in two weeks and no more Glycol was detected after four weeks.
Pond 1, after five weekly heavy treatments.
Pond 2, after five weekly heavy treatments.
Pond 1, December 13th, after no treatments four weeks then two more.
Pond 2, December 13th, still in normal operation.
After five weekly heavy treatments we saw what too much excess diatoms mixed with aeration looks like; but we wanted the glycol to be gone. Pond 1 with all its aeration caused the extra diatoms to foam up. Note that we scooped up some of the brown diatom foam and it smelled clean and like pure diatom algae foam, so we knew it was still doing the job, creating oxygen. The heavy doses of beneficial bacteria likely also was in the foam. At this point the independent laboratory found no Glycol in the pond. The excess diatom foam all dissipated within a week.
In six weeks we saw that the treatments were working and Pond 2 was clean and high quality. We could see the bottom 20 feet or so out from the shore.
By Nov. 30 the metrics were Pond 1: pH 7.09 and DO 2.6 ; Pond 2: pH 8.08 and DO 13.4 There was still no trace of glycol detected. The plug was removed on this pond and it returned to normal operation.
Continue maintenance treatments for the water health, especially in Pond 1, needed to restore aquatic health and oxygen levels by using diatom promoter. Additionally, beneficial bacteria should be used to continue break down of any remaining chemical residue and ammonia as well as to support the diatoms. Problem was no treatments were done for five weeks, so Pond 1 started to revert to unhealthy, unclear water with odor. One treatment fixed odors. Two were done before temperatures turned to freezing. By this time it was our understanding that the ponds were both were clean enough for unplugging and draining normally. Pond maintenance should be restarted when temperatures stay average 40 degrees. Both ponds need to be monitored to prevent new weed growth, odor and signs of need for water treatment plan adjustments. Both ponds are also scheduled for swan decoy installation to prevent flocks of geese from polluting ponds in the spring.