Many folks have a pond on their property, either owned privately or as a part of a neighborhood. We pass them everyday without a second thought. Ponds are an incredible asset to our property and are a complex mix of biology.
So what is a pond? For this conversation, let’s define it as a water body between 1/20th of an acre and 5 acres (above 5 acres and we start calling them a small lake), with little flow through, and naturally contained with clay or natural soil. So they are by definition a small body of stagnant water. But they are much more than that. They are host to aquatic plants, algae, fish, frogs, turtles, and invite a variety of wildlife to visit. Not to mention, microscopic biology that is far too numerous to list.
How we use them, and what we realistically expect from ponds define them as well. There are the obvious expectations that we think of first like fishing, irrigation, water for livestock, and a nice reflective view for a sunset. But there are other ways that ponds can, and do, serve us. They can provide heating and cooling for a home, fire protection (and lower insurance rates), boating, swimming, exercise for dogs, and a great place to garden.
Of all the natural features on your property, few can compare with the value of your pond. It has a direct, and amplified effect on your property values and it will be the first thing that catches your eye upon arrival. The price of waterfront properties versus non waterfront properties is well established. Notice the next time you pick up a real estate booklet how many advertisements include a pond in the foreground. If there is a pond, they include it.
Now you may hear someone say on the subject of ponds that the natural approach is best and not to do anything to them. God doesn’t make ponds, people do, and they have a lot of naturally-occurring behavior that is undesirable and downright frustrating. Muddy water, overproduction of algae, unwanted vegetation, or the dreaded sudden die-off of fish. Ponds definitely benefit from management. It increases the pond’s health, your enjoyment and the value of your property.