A pond is often a beautiful and natural asset to your property, but a body of water comes with challenges. Many factors lead to an over-accumulation of sediment and plant life over the course of time. Eventually, a pond can become overwhelmed and seem to drown in debris buildup, muck, and aquatic weeds.
A process called dredging removes all the sediment and muck to help restore the pond to its original depth. Here’s what you need to know about the pond dredging process.
How Is a Pond Dredged?
Your pond may be dredged using one of several methods. To remove the matter from the bottom of the pond, experts first evaluate the pond to determine:
- How much material needs to be removed
- What the material is, such as clay, silt, organic matter, sand, or rocks
- Whether the shoreline needs adjustment
- What equipment best suits the dredge method
Sometimes a pond needs draining first and then is dredged with heavy equipment when the ground is dry and stable. Other times, a pond can be dredged with floating equipment while water still remains inside.
How Can You Tell a Pond Needs to Be Dredged?
Physical changes to a pond occur gradually, making it hard to notice dramatic differences in your pond’s appearance. However, your pond will give you clues that tell you a dredge is necessary.
Your pond may seem smaller and shallower than it was years ago. Sediment builds up at the bottom over time and water levels drop, decreasing the pond’s diameter. If unchecked, a pond will eventually resemble a patch of swampy ground as the natural process of sedimentation takes over.
A drop in aquatic wildlife is a sure sign that fish, frogs, and other animals can no longer live in the pond. Increased plant life due to an over-abundance of nutrients from runoff makes for lush growth that eats up most of the oxygen. This lack of oxygen forces aquatic life to die off, resulting in a dead pond.
A once-fresh body of water can take on a strong smell of algae. Excess algae growth and its accompanying smell is a sign that plant life is hyper-present due to nutrient imbalances. If the surface of your pond is mostly algae, dredging is necessary.
What Are the Benefits of Dredging?
Besides restoring the natural beauty of your pond, dredging reveals a host of additional benefits. The absence of buildup, muck, and sediments exposes the clean, original floor of your pond and makes your pond wider and deeper once again. If your pond was once for recreation, you are now able to better enjoy boating and fishing again.
Dredging also makes your pond healthier. Water clarity goes up when cloudy silt and clay particles from muck are gone. Dramatically less plant life means oxygen levels increase, which allows fish and other aquatic life to flourish once more. Your pond will lose any unattractive smells from algae and rotting vegetation.
You may be able to preserve the muck and vegetation that came from the floor of your pond when dredging is over. Once dry, this material is still very rich in nutrients and can be fertilizer for your property.
Can You Avoid Repeat, Frequent Dredging?
With the right pond management, you can avoid the need for frequent dredging. One way to help maintain the right oxygen level is to install a pond aeration system. Doing so helps maintain the right balance between plants and oxygen and increases the ability of fish and other animals to remain in your pond ecosystem.
You can help keep sediments and nutrients out of your pond when you control and slow their flow. Install a system of berms and other barriers designed to filter both organic and inorganic matter before they enter your waters.
If you feel your pond needs to be dredged, contact Abbotts’ Construction Services, Inc. Our experts know the best way to approach a dredge for your pond or water body and can offer valuable advice regarding barriers and other forms of revetment.