Did you know stormwater ponds are an essential part of flood risk management?
They collect water during a heavy downpour and discharge it at a predetermined rate. Meanwhile, water channels are crucial for the economy. They allow safe passage for ships carrying goods and materials.
What happens when these bodies of water fail to function? Our economies halt, and we may experience flooding on our streets.
Dredging aims to avoid these circumstances. Sedimentation is one of the few reasons ponds may become too full. It can also cause waterways to become too shallow for ships.
For this reason, sediment removal should help maintain the health and function of lakes and ponds. The only issue is discovering the correct recurrence. Keep on reading to learn how often you should do it.
When Should You Dredge Lakes and Ponds?
In general, you should dredge stormwater ponds every 15 to 20 years. Doing so removes the buildup of organic muck created by algae, leaves, and aquatic weeds. This process also reduces the amount of disturbed soil coming from the streets.
Your pond may need dredging sooner, however, depending on the accumulation. If new development and soil disturbance happen, it may require attention ASAP.
Dredging takes years to complete, especially with lakes. It’s a massive project that might not be as necessary with shallower waters.
The Port of Newcastle, for example, has been continuously dredging since 1859. The channel should maintain a certain depth to manage thousands of ships. It happens partly due to the silt buildup, a natural byproduct of the Hunter River.
Still, it depends on the function of the body of water. Lakes and channels where ships often pass through may need dredging more often. Those without much movement may benefit from sediment removal every few decades or so.
Signs It’s Time for Sediment Removal
How do you know if it’s time for dredging services in Georgia? Here are some signs your pond is due for sediment removal soon.
Accumulation of Debris and Algae
The primary purpose of dredging is to remove the accumulation of debris. Sometimes, though, it’s necessary for erosion control. It’s also a part of cleaning up a material spill and widening the banks.
That said, the number one sign it’s time for dredging is the level of accumulated trash, debris, and organic waste. If the water is clear, you can see the bottom. If it’s murky, then it’s another sign you’re dealing with too many pollutants.
You should also observe the surface of the water. Are there too many algae?
Algal blooms are harmful in water bodies, even in seas and oceans. They can kill millions of fish and other aquatic life in several ways.
These blooms often take oxygen supply through algal respiration. When they decay, bacterial processes also use oxygen. As a result, they rob fish of this essential element for living.
Some algae can damage the gills. They may even harm humans who consume affected marine life. Filter-feeding shellfish, for example, may have biotoxins that cause various illnesses.
All urban water bodies can become dry land over time. Sediment continues to build up until the water is no more. If you notice the water has become shallower, it might be time for a dredge.
Sediment, trash, and debris can build up on the bottom. When it rains, the water collects pollutants on its way to the pond or lake.
Sand washing downstream also fills channels and harbors over time. If it goes unnoticed, it becomes a problem for ships. After all, these vessels require a certain depth, so they don’t touch the bottom.
You may need to keep a record of the water’s depth to determine if it’s shallowing. You should also notice it when the edges seem to be shrinking. Dredging restores the pond or lake to its original state, or it may even make the water deeper.
Absence of Wildlife
Rainwater also gets chemicals from the streets, roofs, backyards, and such before settling into waterways. These pollutants can increase phosphorus, nitrate, and nitrite levels in the water.
Organic debris is also harmful to aquatic life. Leaves and pet waste can accumulate on the bottom, creating a pile of organic muck. It adds lots of chemicals, causing an imbalance in the water chemistry.
The excess nutrients create an inhospitable environment for fish and other aquatic life. If a thriving ecosystem is disappearing, it’s a solid sign you need pond management in Georgia.
Another thing to note is that the decay of algae and other organic matter consumes oxygen. This process can deplete the dissolved oxygen concentrations in the pond, killing fish.
You may also notice the absence of other critters around the body of water. Animals who feed on fish will go elsewhere to sustain themselves.
Does your pond have an unusual smell? It doesn’t always point to the immediate need for dredging, so you first need to determine the cause.
For example, water stagnation can also result in an unpleasant odor. This issue might not require sediment removal.
However, it might be coming from the accumulation of organic muck at the bottom. Animal waste, leaves, and other debris may create a black sludge. This slime emits a foul odor often accompanied by murkiness.
Another detrimental effect of an overabundance of algae is a foul odor. Since they’re living things, their death also releases an unpleasant smell.
The sharp increase of decomposition also reduces the oxygen supply for other living creatures in the water. Oxygen deprivation, among other causes, kills the fish, producing a rotten-egg odor.
To avoid the foul smells, consider doing a pond reconstruction.
Learn More About Pond and Lake Management in Georgia
Sediment removal is crucial in several ways. It preserves and restores the aquatic ecosystem, and it keeps flooding away. It also allows ships carrying goods, materials, and people to pass through waterways safely.
Whether you’re managing a pond or an ordinary resident, you can enjoy maintained bodies of water. To know more, never hesitate to contact us today.
44 Milton Ave #129
Alpharetta, GA 30004