How do you keep a natural pond clean with no mechanical filtration? Two different methods are discussed.
We get many request for natural pond care to keep them looking clean and beautiful. This type of natural pond, found in your HSA or near a parking lot, typically doesn't have a rubber liner and doesn't have any mechanical filtration systems.
With no mechanical systems, how do you keep a natural pond clean?
Below are two methods to maintain a natural pond in 2020 including some ball park prices. The main difference is speed: think in terms of "microwave speed" or "crock pot speed". Each method has its good points and bad points.
Microwave speed Pond Treatments:
One method to clean a natural pond is to add algacide and other chemicals or add dye and Voila! The water looks clear! (Minnesota Waterscapes doesn't spray these chemicals at this time as it takes a special licence and we prefer to use natural methods.)
Benefits: Typically gives fast results but the treatment must be repeated often (perhaps as often as a rainfall). Plus, consider what the long term results of dumping chemicals and dye into a rain water collection point will do to the water supply.
Fountains often come up as the first request for cleaning natural ponds. Fountains circulate the water but they really don't do much for the pond ecosystem as a whole other than mix the first foot or so of pond water. Fountain prices vary considerably. The less you spend on your fountain, the more maintenance you will have to do. You can buy an inexpensive fountain ($200-$1000) but will be spending plenty of time cleaning the screens.
Professional fountains ($1500-$5000+) come with different patterns, lights, and other special features, and have stronger motors. They can be purchased to fit your pond size and shape.
Bacteria is the life of your pond! Good bacteria converts unwanted chemicals and sediment into helpful nutrients or breaks them down. Bacteria will eat the extra nutrition in the water. It works even better (meaning faster) with aeration and warmer temps. Lake treatment booster is one bacteria treatment we recommend or can apply for you. I like to think of bacteria treatments like taking vitamins. You don't see results immediately but they are there, working for you.
Aeration is one of the most cost effective ways to begin the process of eating away at the pond muck near the bottom. It also speeds up the bacteria treatments. Costs for an aeration system typically start around $3000 (for large ponds) and depend on depth, size, and electricity available near the pond. Solar power can also be used to run an aeration system.
Ponds can bring so much beauty to a neighborhood. The care put into them is well worth the effort. If you have more questions about caring for your natural pond, give us a call for a free phone consultation or send us a note.
Jeff Chudek has been building ponds and waterfalls professionally since 2005. As a kid, his favorite time of year was spring, because the spring thaw created so much mud and puddles, and all the trees and plants were waking up. He loves figuring out the best way to use something, and fixing things that are broken. He's good at coming up with ideas, and helping choose the best idea for you.