Simply put, nutrient loading is the quantity of nutrients entering an ecosystem in a given period of time. In lake and pond ecosystems the nutrients we are most concerned with are phosphorous and nitrogen. These nutrients are necessary for plant life and they are in limited supply in most water systems. Even a small overload of these nutrients can become a large problem in a pond or lake.
Phosphorous can be directly introduced by overland flow of water coming from agriculture, well water, bird and fish fecal matter, and even spring water. Indirectly, phosphorous can be introduced by a process known as internal nutrient loading. Internal loading is the breakdown of sediment on the bottom of the pond that releases nutrients as a byproduct.
To combat these problems, Cason & Associates has assembled a suite of options to customize nutrient management in your waterbody.
- Floc Logs: Floc Logs are semi solid polymer bricks that capture phosphorous and bind it as water passes over them. These logs are a great option if you have a specific source of phosphorous coming in such as a well pipe or spring. This is a great option because it binds phosphorous before it gets into the waterbody unlike some of the other options.
- Phoslock: Phoslock is a clay based product that binds nitrogen in the water column initially and settles to the bottom. After settling, Phoslock continues to lock phosphorous that would be released from the sediment. This affectively blocks internal nutrient loading from the sediment in your pond. This is a great product if your phosphorous input comes mainly from sources within your pond.
- PRA (phosphorous reducing agent): This phosphorous reduction product binds phosphate in the entire water column and helps eliminate suspended solids. This is a great way to clear water up while reducing the phosphorous load in your pond. This product is best used when you have a non-point source of phosphorous and your pond doesn’t have a large amount of internal loading.
These treatment options are often best tied in to our Integrated Pond Management System for the best results. We find that small doses of nutrient management products at multiple regular intervals seem to have the largest affect. However, each situation is unique, and during your pond management consultation we can develop a plan that fits your pond.
Physical Pond Enhancement Options
- Buffer strip: Buffer strips are areas of grassy or woody plant matter that catch sediment and nutrients before they reach the pond. During a pond management consultation, our biologists can use observations of land use and terrain to help advise as to what areas are critical for runoff and best left to grow up as a buffer. Once back at the office we can use geographical and geological data to help confirm these observations.
- Plantings: Once good buffer areas are confirmed we can recommend plants from our pond plant list that can not only promote a beautiful and natural pond, but also act as a nutrient barrier. We offer these plants as a do it yourself option or we can deliver and plant them for you.
- Floating Islands: Floating islands serve to not only create a unique green space within your pond, but through rooted plants they remove nutrients and help clean up your water. With the additional benefit of being amazing habitat for animals and fish, floating islands are one of the best additions you can bring to your pond (click here for more information).
- Pond Design Consultations: Whether building a new pond or doing construction on a mature pond, biologist and owner Chad Cason has years of experience in designing ponds so they can reach their greatest potential. The best practices for pond construction allow you to predict many potential phosphorous sources and either minimize their affects or properly plan for their remediation. This process alone makes a scheduling a pond design consultation an invaluable part of any pond construction.