Large established pond - choked!

Discussion in 'Water Chemistry' started by G. Griffiths, Jul 12, 2017.

  1. G. Griffiths

    G. Griffiths

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2017
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    We have a spring fed pond, approximately 30 feet diameter, which was establised some 30 years ago. It has always been crystal clear, until now.

    This year it has become choked with blanket weed and i simply cannot remove it quickly enough to keep on top of it. A lot of it is out of reach due to the pond size.

    I cannot work out why this has suddenly happened after such a long period. the land from which the spring(s) derive have always been pasture with no fertilizers (apart from animals) being added.

    The pool now looks so awful I'm on the verge of trying to fill it in!

    Can anyone suggest a remedy please? I have tried sacks of barley straw - no effect.
     
    G. Griffiths, Jul 12, 2017
    #1
    1. Advertisements

  2. G. Griffiths

    Lisak1

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2013
    Messages:
    3,527
    Likes Received:
    3,762
    Location:
    Northern IL
    Welcome! A good starting point is to remember that the algae is both a symptom and a remedy - it's telling you something is out of balance and whatever it is, it's handling it for you while you figure it out.

    Does this pond have fish? Any kind of aeration or water movement? I'm assuming no filtration? Can you share some photos? What kind of animals are on the pasture?

    We're here to help if we can - just need more details!
     
    Lisak1, Jul 12, 2017
    #2
    Mmathis likes this.
    1. Advertisements

  3. G. Griffiths

    Meyer Jordan Tadpole

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2014
    Messages:
    6,436
    Likes Received:
    4,969
    Location:
    Pensacola, Florida
    First, how do you know for certain that the pasture is the only source for this spring water. Secondly, water from any underground source is subject to chemical change based on human activity at its origin and underground passage. In some cases it may take years for a contaminant to reappear at the spring-head.
    If the source of the nutrients feeding the blanket weed can not be eliminated, then the only course of action is manual removal.Algae treatments will only 'kick-the-can-down-the-road' and offer no lasting cure.
     
    Meyer Jordan, Jul 12, 2017
    #3
    Mmathis and MoonShadows like this.
  4. G. Griffiths

    G. Griffiths

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2017
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    thanks for the replies.

    Fish - only sticklebacks. No aeration (I have read it makes no difference to blanket weed?) and no filtration. Water movement is negligible althought the throughput can easily exceed 1 gallon per minute depending on time of year/rainfall.

    The springs are at the end of a ridge (rising to around 60 - 80 feet) extending about 1/2 mile or so. All the fields are permanent pasture supporting sheep and a few cattle and about 6 horses. None of this has changed for many decades and certainly not since we dug the pool some 30 years ago.

    Manual removal is not an option - I have already spent many hours removing wheelbarrow loads over the last few months.

    If a remedy can't be found I will either drastically reduce the size of the pool (estimated it around 25,000 gallons) and create bog borders or totally fill it in (will take many lorry loads of soil!).

    Appreciate your kind help.
     
    G. Griffiths, Jul 12, 2017
    #4
  5. G. Griffiths

    Meyer Jordan Tadpole

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2014
    Messages:
    6,436
    Likes Received:
    4,969
    Location:
    Pensacola, Florida
    What plantings are now in place in and around the pond?
     
    Meyer Jordan, Jul 12, 2017
    #5
    MoonShadows likes this.
  6. G. Griffiths

    MitchM

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2012
    Messages:
    5,466
    Likes Received:
    5,168
    Location:
    Water Valley, Alberta
    It sounds like there has been an unusual amount of organic matter enter the waterway.
    That could happen from the surrounding geography being altered by weather erosion and water that usually went elsewhere is now being diverted into your pond.
    You could also take a water test kit and test for phosphate and nitrate at a few points along the stream if the stream is accessible from the surface.
    Pictures of the surrounding geography would help here, plus if this has been happening for a few months, maybe review what the rainfall history has been.
     
    MitchM, Jul 12, 2017
    #6
    Mmathis and MoonShadows like this.
  7. G. Griffiths

    Faebinder

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2015
    Messages:
    915
    Likes Received:
    503
    Location:
    Hershey, PA
    I'm guessing you don't know the number of sticklebacks last year vs. this year? Maybe you have a bunch that birthed and now you are over populated for that filtration and plant levels.
     
    Faebinder, Jul 12, 2017
    #7
    MoonShadows likes this.
  8. G. Griffiths

    G. Griffiths

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2017
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    The pool is spring fed i.e. all the water comes from an underground reservoir fed by underground spring(s). the only other water comes from rainwater off the roof of our property (fed into underground pipes to join the underground overflow from the reservoir - also underground).

    Stickleback numbers are significantly lower since the occurrence of blanket weed. We used to have visits from the kingfisher on a reguar basis - never see it now, sadly.

    Ponside plants incluse wild iris, king cup, and some sort of large watercress. in the pool we have water hawthorn plus a feathery weed that send up pale pink/purple flower spikes - similar to 'ladysmock'. Also reedmace appeared a few years ago and i try to keep that under control and restricted to the centre of the pond.

    There is a coarse, pale green/grey, wiry type of weed that grows on the pool bed as well, haven't a clue what that is.

    The surrounding geography hasn't changed for generations and no surface water enters our pool.

    I guess a few more leaves than usual fell on the pool last autumn from surrounding trees but not significantly more than in previous years.
     
    G. Griffiths, Jul 12, 2017
    #8
  9. G. Griffiths

    MitchM

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2012
    Messages:
    5,466
    Likes Received:
    5,168
    Location:
    Water Valley, Alberta
    Is there any information available from your local government on the aquifer that supplies the spring feeding your pond - any construction activity, recently drilled wells?
    You mentioned filling in the pond, but won't the spring simply reappear close by?
    You may just wind up with a stream flowing overland that is covered in algae.
    If this was a gradual increase of algae over the years , I would think that it was simply a matter of increasing organic matter buildup, but you say it has been a sudden appearance.
     
    MitchM, Jul 12, 2017
    #9
    MoonShadows likes this.
  10. G. Griffiths

    Meyer Jordan Tadpole

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2014
    Messages:
    6,436
    Likes Received:
    4,969
    Location:
    Pensacola, Florida
    Is the size of the springshed known with absolute certainty? Springsheds typically are many square miles in size. Unless the bedrock is fairly cl0se to the surface, this springshed may be quite large. What you are seeing could very well be pollution that entered the springshed many miles away from the springhead and many years ago.
    This, of course, does nothing to resolve your problem.
    What is the actual size of this pond?
     
    Meyer Jordan, Jul 12, 2017
    #10
    MoonShadows likes this.
  11. G. Griffiths

    MitchM

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2012
    Messages:
    5,466
    Likes Received:
    5,168
    Location:
    Water Valley, Alberta
    If the home drinking water is from a well, it might be a good idea to have a water quality test done.
     
    MitchM, Jul 12, 2017
    #11
    budgenator and Meyer Jordan like this.
  12. G. Griffiths

    moby

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2015
    Messages:
    227
    Likes Received:
    197
    Location:
    UK
    There are very, very few households in the U.K. that use well water as their drinking water, that would be a most exceptional set up. Not to say the OP doesn't, as we obviously won't know for sure till we get a reply, but I'd bet my fish he will be on mains supply.......as are 99.99999% of UK homes.
     
    moby, Jul 15, 2017
    #12
    MitchM likes this.
  13. G. Griffiths

    MitchM

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2012
    Messages:
    5,466
    Likes Received:
    5,168
    Location:
    Water Valley, Alberta
    Thanks. Good to know.
    I don't know much about the infrastructure over there, what about in places like Ireland and Scotland, do the rural properties have wells or does the municipal water supply also reach out to those rural areas?
     
    MitchM, Jul 15, 2017
    #13
  14. G. Griffiths

    G. Griffiths

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2017
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Haven't used the spring water for domestic purposes for over 30 years now.
     
    G. Griffiths, Jul 16, 2017
    #14
  15. G. Griffiths

    moby

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2015
    Messages:
    227
    Likes Received:
    197
    Location:
    UK
    According to a government paper I've just been reading on UK water supply, it confirms that over 99.9% of water is mains in the U.K., you are however correct in assuming in the ROI mains water is less prolific and also in the more remote areas of Scotland where 'private' supplies are used. Private...includes industrial supplies like to breweries and suchlike which also supply homes.
    I was I admit, imagining someone with a bucket on a rope precariously leaning over a big hole when I implied it would be unusual!
     
    moby, Jul 16, 2017
    #15
    MitchM likes this.
    1. Advertisements

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.
Similar Threads
  1. alafayette

    Established Pond, Dying Fish

    alafayette, Aug 25, 2008, in forum: Fish & Koi Talk
    Replies:
    7
    Views:
    1,775
    DrDave
    Aug 28, 2008
  2. addy1
    Replies:
    8
    Views:
    1,326
    oldmarine
    Nov 2, 2010
  3. bigbenj21

    just got pond established hopefully

    bigbenj21, Jul 29, 2012, in forum: Newbies to Garden Ponds
    Replies:
    15
    Views:
    1,275
    bigbenj21
    Jul 30, 2012
  4. nick0007

    adding 2 new goldfish to my established pond

    nick0007, May 7, 2013, in forum: Introductions
    Replies:
    11
    Views:
    1,797
  5. Mmathis

    Dealing with tree removal around already established pond

    Mmathis, Jun 1, 2014, in forum: Pond Construction & Equipment
    Replies:
    35
    Views:
    1,258
    ponder630
    Aug 21, 2014
  6. ponder630
    Replies:
    8
    Views:
    552
    ponder630
    Aug 26, 2014
  7. Air23mlr

    New to community, established pond owner

    Air23mlr, Mar 13, 2016, in forum: Introductions
    Replies:
    8
    Views:
    565
    MitchM
    Apr 10, 2016
  8. dutchstar

    New Butterfly Koi in established pond - question about eating

    dutchstar, Jul 6, 2017, in forum: Newbies to Garden Ponds
    Replies:
    14
    Views:
    176
Loading...