It’s the most wonderful time of the year…. The Holidays are here and golf course superintendents finally get a respite from the hustle and bustle of the busy season. And while pond algae isn’t typically a concern this time of year, it is a perfect time to maintain your aeration systems and prepare for any wet weather events that may impact your ponds.
Depending on the course location, many superintendents cut back on the run times of their aeration systems, or in some cases, shut them off completely in the winter. What better time to check air filters and rebuild air compressors? A simple way to determine if your compressor needs to be rebuilt is to place your thumb over the intake hole with the motor running. The compressor should suck your thumb firmly and make the motor bog down. These are signs of good compression. If the compressor does not do these two things, it needs to be rebuilt. Check out our Resources page for demonstrations on how to rebuild some of the most common compressors used for pond aeration systems. Please contact us for parts, service, or technical assistance with any facet of your aeration system.
Of course, there are plenty of things you can do around the course to protect water quality. One real simple management practice is to use a plug aerator on the turf around your ponds. We recommend at least a ten foot buffer to allow the most amount of water to infiltrate the soil rather than running off into your pond. This will reduce the amount of fertilizers and organic material that runs into the pond. This is important because 1 lb. of phosphorous will create about 500 lb. of algae (dry weight).
Another important practice is to implement best management practices to prevent sediment from getting into the pond. Sedimentation reduces pond volume and leads to proliferation of emergent plants and weeds that can quickly become an expensive nuisance. Any earthen drainages that run into ponds during rain events should be outfitted with straw waddles and or silt fences running perpendicular to the flow. Jute netting and grass seeding can be used to stabilize any bare earth areas. Anything that can be done to slow the water down before it enters the pond will be beneficial.
Thank you for your time. If you have any questions about this information or anything else regarding pond aeration or pond maintenance in genera, don’t hesitate to call us to speak with a pond management expert.