How to Prevent Pond Scum

Pond Scum Prevention For Spring

Sept 27, 2013 – Spring is just around the corner and with it for many pond owners will come the beginning of their annual pond nightmares.

Your pond can start the spring season off as a pretty clear blue/green body of fresh water but can turn rather quickly into a green ugly mess of overgrown weeds and floating algae.

Pond scum, otherwise known as green slime or pond algae is a common problem for many pond owners as the weather and water temperatures. Pond scum usually starts to flourish in early spring and then by summer spreads across the pond and blankets it with soup like green coloration and a smelly layer of greenish brown rugs.

Pond scum or this form of algae is unlike other forms in that it has no true roots or leaves. It is found floating on the surface of the water and/or attached to other weeds or vegetation in the pond. You will know that pond scum has hit your pond when the color of your water makes the change from a clear/blue green to a thick green soup color.

Pond Scum Barometer

To get a quick barometer of how bad pond scum has hit your pond – take a aluminum pole or golf club and stick it in your water. If you cannot see it shining 2-3 feet down in your pond then you have some concerns.

In a healthy pond, you should be able to see the object at the about depths. If you cannot then pond scum is in full bloom at your house. If you cannot see the object in less than a foot of water then you have some major pond issues and may want to call in some professional help.

Control Pond Scum

Here are the top environmentally friendly ways to prevent and control pond scum from hitting your pond – in order of priority.

  • Aeration – the process of adding oxygen to water – you can use windmill aeration systems or electric aeration systems to effectively do this.
  • Keep Pond Water Deep – dig shallow areas of your pond out so that there are limited shallow areas in your pond – depths of greater than 3.5 – 4 ft minimum.
  • Prevent Run Off – from potentially nutrient rich sources from entering your pond water.
  • Plant High Grass and Shrubs – to avoid excess pollutants and nutrients from being blown into the pond.
  • Add Fish – grass carp is one species of fish that have been known to eat large amounts of pond scum or algae and weeds.
  • Professional Water Tester – who may suggest that a limited use of algaecide is in order and have them treat your pond.