If you’ve got a water body, no matter how big or small, it’s pretty much guaranteed that you’re going to have to deal with sludge or sediment at some point. Although it’s actually made up of about seventy percent water, sludge is one of the more dangerous issues that pond owners can face. Because it’s essentially just one big mass of excess nutrients and rotting material that either washed/blew into your pond or originated from your fish and other organisms in your water, sludge creates a perfect breeding ground for algae and other nasties. This is most concerning since it also provides a great place for dormant algae and weed cells, scientifically known as akinetes, to hang out which can lead to havoc when the right conditions present themselves..
Those with larger water bodies aren’t immune either, in fact, the bigger the vessel, the more room there is for sludge to grow. Sludge presents more than just an excess nutrient issue, however, as it also slowly depletes oxygen levels within itself and surrounding water which will eventually leave you with anaerobic conditions. What this means is that you’ll end up with a host of stinky, nasty bacteria hanging out down the bottom and potentially harmful substances throughout your water body. This leads to fish mortality, thriving algae and weed issues and potentially even sick livestock and people.
If your sludge problem isn’t that bad, it can generally be addressed through standard aeration and treatment options but if things have gotten a little out of control, manual removal will be necessary. If your water body is fairly shallow, you should be able to simply vacuum it, but if things are really bad, dredging will be necessary.
If you’re not sure how to best manage the health of your pond or dam, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Our friendly team of specialists is always happy to provide any assistance or advice that you may need and can help you create a custom solution for your water to help ensure optimum health.