Pond Aeration Revisited

Pond Water Issues In The 1980′s

Sept 5, 2013 – What were the issues pond owners had with their ponds way back in the late 1980′s? Do we still have the same issues? What are we doing today to ensure that these problems are taken care of? If they would have known then what we know now!

We just recently uncovered a survey of over 100 farmers that was conducted in the late 1980′s. Listed below is a summary of the results from this survey. We would be interested to hear from you on different problems that you have with your pond water, what you are doing to solve these problems.

Back then over 90% of respondents received their pond water from field drainage. Almost 95% of them did not receive any significant amounts of water for their ponds between June and August except for occasional runoff from rainfalls.

Plastic liners, a practice you see more and more today were not used at all in those days. Ponds were never drained for sediment removal or for chemical treatments.

Almost 40% of the farmers stocked their ponds with fish (trout).

The ponds were found to have high phosphorous, copper and magnesium levels which contributed to extremely high levels of green algae.

The two biggest issues that farmers had when using their ponds for sources of drinking water were the amount of algae and weeds. Almost 95% of the farmers had this issue. Odor of the pond was considered a problem by three quarters of the respondents.

Water’s taste was an issue for almost 65% of the farmers and half of them determined the smell was similar to rotten eggs. It was determined that the rotten egg smell was due to a lack of oxygen in the water. They determined in the 1980′s that pond aeration would prevent the rotten egg odor and that water aeration would also control algae and prevent weed growth.

Over 50% of the farmers responded that these problems with algae and smelly pond water was at their peak between June and September and only a 1/4 said that the problem existed in the months between January and May and 1/3rd said they also had problems in the Fall.

Due to the enormous presence of algae – half of the farmers had problems filtering the water with half getting their filters clogged monthly. Almost 100 % of the farmers treat their ponds in order to reduce the problems outlined.

Back then copper sulphate was used by 9 out of every 10 farmers, pond aeration was used by 3 out of every 4 farmers and a mixture of other chemicals were used by about 10 % of the respondents.

An interesting finding was that copper sulphate worked to control the growth of algae in only 50% of the cases. Many of the farmers that said copper sulphate was not good at treating the water indicated that at first when they used copper sulphate it did work but over time its effectiveness for treating algae diminished.

It was clear that too many chemicals in the pond may help its condition in the short term but maintaining it with chemicals for the long term did not appear to be a good practice. The ponds that used water aeration systems experienced better results over the long term.

Its interesting to note that even though the pond aeration systems that existed back in the 1980′s were much less advanced, it was concluded this was the most effective way to treat and maintain the health of a farmers pond.

Today, not much else has changed except for the many studies that prove water aeration is the most effective way to keep your pond clean. There are also many more innovative solutions that can aerate ponds such as low horsepower electric aerations systems and the prevalent windmill aeration systems whose demand have grown by leaps and bounds due to the high cost of energy.