Backyard pondscaping #719913 - Ask Extension

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Backyard pondscaping #719913

Asked September 01, 2020, 2:48 PM EDT

I have a retention pond in my backyard (around 1/2 acre) and would like to learn about how to maintain water quality and clarity without chemicals. We have had a problem with DOCs this summer (lots of white foam and bubbles). I know that we have a lot of muck and that the surrounding trees contribute to the problem. We also have occasional algae blooms and sometimes duck weed will cover the pond. I have been doing some manual removal of leaves, duck weed and muck, but can only do so much in my waders. The pond supports lots of wildlife including Great Blue Heron, Green Heron, Muskrats, Ducks, Geese, Deer, Fox, Turtles, Frogs, and Fish. Any advice that you can share would be appreciated.

Ingham County Michigan

Expert Response

Hello, and thank you for your inquiry about pond management. Sounds like you do have a great variety of wildlife that your pond supports!

May I ask if the retention pond that you are referencing is a pond that is used to manage stormwater? A detention pond is a man-made depression that collects and cleans storm water runoff. These can be dry or wet. If a detention pond does not have an outlet, then it is called a retention pond. Water that collects in retention ponds must infiltrate into the ground or evaporate.

Is the pond located on your property? Are you responsible for its maintenance or are others also helping? If you are not sure, contact your city's public works department. 

This resource on detention pond management, though specifically designed for many communities that are part of the Rouge River Watershed, is very information: http://allianceofrougecommunities.com/PDFs/PI/detention%20pond%20manual%2081-2%20x%2011.pdf

There are also a few other pond management resources available at this web site as well that you might find helpful also as far as general management: https://www.oakgov.com/msu/programming/Pages/natural-resources.aspx

Hope you find this information helpful. If you have other specific questions, please let me know!
Bindu Bhakta Replied September 07, 2020, 5:05 PM EDT

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