Pond Topics – A Refresher
Geist Landing has 59 properties around 3 ponds. All of these ponds are privately owned by the land owners who affront these ponds. The land owners also own a part of the ponds and are directly responsible in maintaining them. But- read on- every resident has a responsibility to keep debris and chemicals out of the storm drains in streets and yards.
A retention pond (a pond with an outlet) is a man-made depression that collects and cleans storm water run-off. The ponds help to slow the rate of storm water run off from the neighborhood and improve of the quality of water leaving the pond. They are important in protecting public and private property, public health and safety and water quality. The ponds collect and trap sediments from storm water that would otherwise clog our rivers, streams and degrade the environment for fish, birds and other wildlife.
There are increased concentrations of pollutants in storm water including sediment, phosphorous and nitrogen from fertilizer, salts, oil, grease from roads and bacteria from pet waste. These pollutants degrade water quality and limit the habitat for wildlife in the stream.
Ideally there are…
Review by a licensed professional
Embankment and outlet stabilization
Debris and litter control; and
Sediment/ pollutant removal
Annual (at a minimum) inspections of the inlet and outlet pipes for structural integrity should be done as well as debris removal. Professional inspections in our neighborhood are unlikely but at each of our neighborhood ponds one or more of the property/ lake owners can check pipes, drains and clear debris.
Algae are the vital base of the aquatic food chain. Excess algae can cause conditions in the ponds that kill other parts of the food chain. Nutrient rich conditions created by run-off from fertilizer, agricultural uses and pet waste can cause algae to grow disproportionately which creates potentially harmful algae blooms. The overabundance of algae blooms decreases the dissolved oxygen in the ponds, which harms fish and wildlife and diminishes the overall aesthetics. Excess nutrients from fertilizer are the main cause of excessive algae. Reducing pollutants from getting into the ponds is important in protection the water quality. Keeping leaves and grass cuttings away from the neighborhood storm drains is also important since this debris ends up in the water and adds to the sediment.
Increase plant diversity with wetland vegetation from a wetland nursery. Plant diversity will enhance water quality, minimize algae blooms and encourage habitat for wildlife. Examples are Pickerel, Bulrush, Arrow Arum, Joe-Peye Weed and non-invasive Cattail. If you have grass eating carp in your pond, plants also serve as place for fish to lay their eggs.
Maintain a 15-25 foot no-mow zone and chemical free buffer zone around the pond. This also prevents grass clippings from entering the water. At a minimum create a chemical free buffer zone and have your mower positioned to blow the cuttings away from the water. A barrier of grasses or flowers also discourages ducks and geese from entering the yards. We planted a row of perennials along our part of the Appleby pond and look forward to having a new, naturalized flower bed.
Do not use pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers in the ponds. These products will leach from the ponds and pollute our streams and rivers
Pick up and dispose pet waste with the weekly garbage.
- Some of the ponds are treated chemically.
Health of the Ponds
Overpopulation of mosquitoes occurs in ponds that are not well maintained.
Install bird houses
Shrubs and brush also provide a habitat for birds and mosquito eating insects
Do not feed the geese. Goose droppings increase the level of fecal coliform in the ponds
The following is part off the Plat Restrictions and Covenants:
Occasionally someone wanders onto the private properties, with or without permission and stocks their coolers with fish from these polluted waters, they do this at their own health risk. Swimming is also risky since pollutants can enter the skin through cuts and mucous membranes, remember the ponds contain road and yard run-off water and animal droppings. Some of the ponds are treated chemically, even more reason not to eat the fish and to stay out of the water. The only other source of fresh water is rain. There are also the drownings that occur each year. Property owners in neighborhoods similar to ours have posted no trespassing signs along the ponds which may be helpful with claims against homeowner’s policies and law suits- at least trespassers were warned. The signs could say “Deep Water, no fishing, no swimming, no boating. Something to consider –
Liberally copied from www.allianceofrougecommunities.com