Why should you be interested in monthly pond management? Does it really need management? Why not just call when you have an issue? Why not quarterly?
First, why have management at all? Ponds are an important part of your property and in many instances, they are a centerpiece or a focal point. Water has an amplified effect on property value. They are used to promote properties frequently if they are being sold or leased. Just look inside a real estate magazine and count the number of photos including a pond or lake. Ponds are constructed, they are not a natural occurrence, and have a lot of naturally occurring processes that lead to less than desirable experiences: poor water quality, algae and vegetation, odors, fish kills, and debris collection. Ponds simply benefit from management to avoid these negatives and return the pond to an asset on your property rather than an eyesore.
Why monthly? Having a biologist visit your pond monthly to treat vegetation and algae and monitor for encroaching vegetation is important. Specifically, in south Louisiana, we can grow algae 11-12 months per year, as algae multiplies fast, and all ponds have the potential for algae. Algae, duckweed, watermeal, and other species can rapidly take over a pond. A monthly visit from a pond biologist can catch an issue early before it can spread in to a larger liability that can cost much more to treat once it is well established. In contrast, a quarterly contract would likely leave one month of a treated pond, with algae returning late in the month and two months of a pond with visible and unattractive algae coverage prior to the next visit. Visiting a pond after 3 months leaves the liability of treatment completely unpredictable, and the ability to flat price management in an economic manner completely impossible. Monthly management allows for predictable billing and expenses for a landowner or property association. Having a qualified biologist monitor your pond keeps prices low and predictable. Trained biologists can positively identify and recognize problematic vegetation early to keep it from becoming a larger expense. Vegetative growth over 2-3 months, left unchecked can easily cost $1,000/acre to reverse.
Litter: Many of our ponds are utilized as stormwater retention and are near well-trafficked roads. This brings litter. Litter is very easy to spot on a pond edge, and unaddressed, lowers perception and respect for your property. Litter invites more litter with the accompanying disrespect for your property. Litter also can clog and damage floating fountains or irrigation pumps in ponds, resulting in repair bills. Having a management contract including litter pickup helps maintain property value and reduce expenses.
Lastly, maybe we need a shift in how we perceive ponds and the maintenance associated with them. Ponds need to be viewed first off as any other surface area on your property that needs maintenance. I personally have a 1-acre property, and feel fortunate to have a service mow the property for $150/month. Secondly, ponds are not just surface area, they are three dimensional. A ½ acre pond, six feet deep is one million gallons. It takes a lot of treatment to affect the chemistry of one million gallons of water. Water biology and management is a specialized, professional knowledge set and having dedicated pond biologists manage your pond monthly is a good choice for keeping your pond healthy and attractive, alongside supporting your property values.