As they are one of the most valuable assets of our neighborhood, SHPOA spends considerable amounts of time and money to manage our lake and ponds. Immediately below are simple steps for improving the water quality in our lakes and ponds. Further below are frequently asked questions.
Please read and take these Simple Steps for Improving Water Quality in our lake and ponds:
1. Prevent Phosphorus from getting into ponds by:
a) Have a soil test done to ascertain that fertilization is necessary
b) Use only non-phosphorus fertilization (check your commercial application)
c) Maintain a “no application zone” of 10-25 feet from the water’s edge
2. Properly maintain waterfront lawns
a) Water wisely. Excessive moisture in lawns increases the potential to move nutrients into water. Turn irrigation system off during periods of adequate rainfall
b) Mow high, recycle clippings back into the lawn
3. Minimize storm water runoff from your property
a) Redirect downspouts away from hard, paved surfaces
b) Plant vegetation near ponds to help slow runoff and provide filtration (also deters geese!)
To maintain the best possible water quality and prevent the ponds from returning to their natural state, in the most efficient, pro-active ways possible. The ponds were formed from dredging swamp land/wetlands.
Using a three-pronged approach: An air-max system, hand raking, and chemical treatments.
Organic matter in the form of leaves, limbs, algae, clippings and weeds continually drop into the ponds as does runoff from fertilizer, pet waste, oil from driveways and eroded soil. After falling to the bottom of the ponds this mixture decomposes into muck. It is this muck that feeds algae and aquatic plants in the ponds.
Oxygen that the air-max system cycles to the bottom of the ponds helps eliminate the muck. The first air-max system was placed in the small pond at the entrance of the sub(area west of the bridge) in the summer of 2013. The overall health of this pond has increased through the years.
Hand raking removes the muck in areas where wind brings/collects a build up of organic matter. 15 cubic yards of muck was removed from the ponds in the fall 2013.
Chemicals kill the algae and weeds. Yellow signs placed on properties adjacent to the ponds indicate exactly what/why/when chemicals were put into the water and any use restrictions. Aqua-Weed, the company that treats the ponds has an excellent website detailing the chemical safety and types of algae/plants.
Mother Nature. Small amounts of rain limits the amount of runoff into the pond; lots of rain brings lots of runoff. Small amounts of rain causes the pond levels to drop. Cold weather inhibits algae growth; hot weather encourages it. If there has been too much rain or too little it is ineffective to hand rake.
The DEQ limits the amount and nature of chemicals that can be put into the ponds. Pond access limits the areas that can be hand raked. It is difficult to find people that are willing to hand rake on a large scale (which is a few day project that involves getting in the water and ferrying debris to a dumpster). Money limits the number of air-max systems.
Sometimes the ponds will look good, sometimes not so much. They will always look awful after an algae bloom and before chemicals are sprayed to kill the algae. SHPOA can only be concerned with the overall health of the ponds, not how they look on any given day. The overall health of the ponds is good. In general summer stresses the ponds, but once fall arrives with cooler weather and rain the ponds seem to stabilize quickly, especially in comparison to other ponds in the area.
Despite the murky water the quality is excellent. One indication of this is the diversity of wildlife that populates the ponds.
Educate yourself. Hand rake your property/water edge. Have a soil test done to determine that you actually have to fertilize your lawn.
For further information and/or to have a soil test done please contact Betsy Keidan (firstname.lastname@example.org).