A farm pond can be a beautiful addition to any rural landscape and often provides a local habitat for various waterfowl and fish species. Without proper farm pond management and water quality monitoring, a farm pond can become excessively dirty, murky and overgrown with aquatic vegetation. This may create an eyesore and can also smell bad. Clean out a farm pond to restore its natural beauty and keep it healthy.
Wear wading gear. Wading boots are sufficient for shallow ponds, but a full wading suit that reaches your abdomen is typically required for most farm ponds. The gear prevents your body and clothing from coming in contact with the pond water, which is especially important if the water is stagnant or contaminated.
Clean out the surface of the farm pond. Walk across your pond and drag a scoop net behind you to collect surface plants and surface debris. If your pond is especially deep, use a rowboat and drag the net behind you. You may wish to save some surface plants, such as water lilies, to reintroduce them into the pond after cleaning it.
Dredge the pond bottom if it is an older pond. Dredging removes accumulated sediment and should be done every five to 10 years for optimum water quality and pond maintenance. Hire a local pond maintenance company to dredge the pond's bottom. Typically, dredging costs £6 to £13 per cubic yard of pond.
Kill aquatic weeds, including underwater plants, submerged shoreline vegetation and heavy filamentous algae growth. Use an aquatic herbicide such as fluridone or glyphosate, found in products such as Sonar, Crystal Blue's Cattplex Aquatic Herbicide and AquaPro's Aquatic Herbicide. Such herbicides come in pellet or liquid form and are fish-safe. Obtain the herbicides from your favourite pond supply store or from an online retailer such as Amazon (see Resources). Administer according to the instructions from the respective product's manufacturer as the chemical concentrations in each product varies. Typically, the pond's vegetation and algae overgrowth will die within a week.
Remove the dead vegetation. Drag a rake through the bottom of the pond to collect and uproot dead aquatic plants and tubers. Discard.
Maintain the pond to keep it clean. Prevent the regrowth of algae and excessive underwater vegetation by adding a dark pond water dye such as Aquashade. This blocks sunlight from reaching below the surface of the water. Use windmill aerators on the surface of the water, which keep the pond water aerated to prevent odours and maintain fish and aquatic animal health. Trim back vegetation on the shoreline to reduce debris in the pond and to reduce excess nutrients in the water, which may encourage too much algae growth.
Knowing the size of your pond is important for dredging as well as the administration of aquatic herbicide. To measure a round pond, measure its shoreline and multiply the number by itself. Divide this number by 547,390 for total round surface acreage. For a rectangle or square pond, multiply the width by the length and divide by 43,560. The resulting number is your rectangle pond's total surface acreage.
Tips and warnings
- Knowing the size of your pond is important for dredging as well as the administration of aquatic herbicide. To measure a round pond, measure its shoreline and multiply the number by itself. Divide this number by 547,390 for total round surface acreage. For a rectangle or square pond, multiply the width by the length and divide by 43,560. The resulting number is your rectangle pond's total surface acreage.