Looking to learn about pond cleaning.

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  #1  
Old 10-29-13, 10:26 AM
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Looking to learn about pond cleaning.

I am a member of a homeowners association.
On our development we have 4 ponds each about 1/4 acre.
We have been advised to consider cleaning these ponds of muck setiment etc. via a vacuuming process. This is an expensive operation to do. Were talking in the area of about $50,000 to accomplish this when you consider all parts. The vacumming, the bags to hold the sentiment, muck etc. Then hauling it away for disposal.
We looked at one that was done and it doesn't appear much better than those on our property.
The question is then....Is it worth the investment ?? I'm hoping someone can focus this for me.
Thanks!
 
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  #2  
Old 10-29-13, 10:56 AM
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You have not said anything about the condition of your ponds, whats wrong or provided any pictures so without knowing what's wrong it's impossible to offer much advice.

I remediated the 3/4 acre pond on my property and it turned out quite well. It was an abandoned farm irrigation pond that was severely overgrown around the edges, received fertilizer runoff from surrounding fields, was totally overgrown with duckweed, anaerobic and a 4' deep muck layer on the bottom. It took several years to clear the perimeter and allow more airflow to the pond and reduce the amount of debris falling in. Catch basins and artificial wetlands were created to help intercept silt coming down the streams. Koi and white amur carp were added to help control vegitation. Probably the biggest and longest lasting impact came from adding aeration. Making the pond aerobic allowed wastes to be digested about 20x faster. The fish can survive and the pond depth has increased almost two feet as the muck layer decomposes.
 
  #3  
Old 10-29-13, 02:47 PM
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Pilot Dane:
Thanks for your responce.
How did you do this:"I remediated the 3/4 acre pond on my property and it turned out quite well."
Did you use the vacumming process or another way ?
There is about 16-18 inches of sentiment & muck in our ponds. which are about 4-5 feet deep. They do not look that bad. I'm sure they would look better if we spent the $50,000....but...I'm not sure it's worth the heavy investment.
 
  #4  
Old 10-29-13, 04:30 PM
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So, do the ponds have a problem or not? Sediment and muck are normal in a pond. Do the ponds have an objectionable smell? Is their depth becoming shallow enough to promote unwanted plants & animals? Are they no longer scenic enough? Do they no longer support the fish or other wildlife you want?

Ponds are natural settling ponds. Runoff washes dirt and silt in where it settles to the bottom. It's one reason ponds are considered beneficial in the grand water cycle for keeping sediments out of larger lakes & rivers. Unfortunately it means that ponds over time silt up and will eventually become shallow wetlands or marshes. It's Mother Nature at work. Around here in NC a pond without intervention has a 30-50 year span where you can call it a pond before you start calling it a swamp or wetland.

Where are the ponds located? Urban, residential??? Usually the cheapest way to remove sediment buildup is to nuke the pond. Breach the dam and let it drain for a year or two so the sediment firms up enough to allow heavy equipment to remove the silt. Next would be an excavator working from the edge. The large machine crawls around the perimeter scooping out the accumulated sediment (dumping it somewhere). It makes a mess of the area around the pond as it works and sends the turbidity of the water through the roof which can cause problems with life in the pond. Vacuum dredging probably has the least impact on existing life in the pond but it's expensive.
 
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