Lake and Pond Algae Control

Plants and algae are essential to the health of any lake or pond, but when their growth gets out of control, they can have a number of negative effects.

Lake algae control is an essential part of aquatic management — knowing which algae are good and which are bad, and when intervention is necessary, will help keep your lake or pond attractive, clean and healthy.

Since 1987, Aquatic Environment Consultants (AEC) has specialized in pond algae bloom control and management for clients throughout the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions. We can provide both ongoing maintenance and emergency interventions for all types of algae issues.

What to Know About Algae

Algae can be found in almost all lakes, ponds and other freshwater sources. They are a naturally occurring part of the ecosystem and serve a number of important functions; including preventing erosion, absorbing carbon dioxide and serving as food for certain species of fish.

Algae are typically classified into one of three categories:

  • Planktonic — At healthy levels, planktonic algae can only be seen under the microscope. When its growth gets out of control, however, it can quickly overwhelm a pond or lake. This results in large “blooms” in which a thick layer of green scum appears on the water’s surface.
  • Filamentous — Filamentous algae, also known as “pond scum,” can be seen on rocks, logs, docks and other underwater surfaces. When growth is excessive, it creates large green mats that float on the surface of the water. As opposed to planktonic algae, filamentous algae are longer and more thread-like.
  • Macrophytic — Although it’s plant-like in appearance, macrophytic algae — commonly called chara, stonewort or muskweed — is actually part of the algae family and must be treated as such. Chara can be found growing on the bottom of most lakes and ponds. It’s easily identifiable thanks to its forked leaves, coarse texture and strong musky smell.

Why Controlling Pond Algae Is Important

Algae control in lakes and ponds is an important part of aquatic maintenance. Too much algae can lead to:

  • poor tasting, foul-smelling drinking water
  • unpleasant recreational activities, such as swimming and fishing
  • a disrupted ecosystem, which limits the amount of sunlight penetration and the rate of oxygen production (this can affect fish populations)
  • the growth of cyanobacteria (called blue-green algae), which may contain toxins that are hazardous to pets and wildlife and can cause illness in humans

Algae Control in Ponds and Lakes

Several methods have proven effective in planktonic, filamentous, macrophytic, and blue-green algae control in lakes and ponds:

  • Mechanical controls — Algae control in small ponds can be accomplished with mechanical controls, such as the use of rakes, seines, screens and other devices. Typically this is completed as a quick intervention in conjunction with other management techniques that address the root of the problem.
  • Biological controls — Certain fish and insect species can be used to control algae growth. By carefully introducing these animals into a lake or pond ecosystem, it can be possible to restore algae growth to acceptable levels over time.
  • Physical controls — Certain physical characteristics make ponds and lakes more conducive to algae growth. By adding a diffuser system or other device that promotes aeration, pond water remains oxygenated which can help keep algae growth in check.
  • Herbicides and algaecides — The use of algaecides to control algae is a very effective management strategy. Herbicides and algaecides can quickly kill excessive growth, bringing water bodies back into a healthy balance.

Algae Management From AEC

By monitoring algae levels over time, it’s possible to make minor adjustments that will prevent algae blooms and avoid the need for drastic interventions. AEC offers algae monitoring services as part of an overall strategy for safeguarding the health of your lake or pond. Find out more by contacting our team today to arrange your initial consultation.