Strategies for the prevention of pond pollution deal with both point source and non-point source pollutants.
(1) Leaving a buffer zone of uncut vegetation around the shoreline to aid in binding up nutrients that would otherwise run into a body of water. The size of this buffer zone is dependent on the slope of the area. Typically, buffer zones are ten to fifteen feet in width, but should be larger for steeply sloping areas. (2) Monitoring fertilizer use in the pond watershed. This includes not fertilizing around a body of water or in areas that would provide run-off into a body of water when rainfall occurs. If fertilizers have to be used in potential run-off areas, a low phosphorus or no phosphorus fertilizer should be used. (3) Changing lawn care practices by preventing grass clippings from entering a body of water. Grass clippings are high in nitrogen, which, along with phosphorus cause excessive aquatic growth. These should not only be kept out of a water body directly, but also out of sewers and ditches that drain into water bodies. Changing cutting practices may be as simple as facing the mower outlet for the clippings the other direction and not cutting up to the edge of the lake. (4) Monitoring leaf litter and other organic debris. There is no way to eliminate leaf litter and debris from entering a body of water, but large amounts of leaf litter and rich organic matter from lawns, gardens, pet wastes and flower beds can add excessive amounts of nutrients to an aquatic system and should be kept out of lakes, ponds and potential run-off areas. (5) Monitoring miscellaneous sources of phosphorus. Many detergents and cleaners are phosphorus-based and can detrimentally affect water bodies. The use of environmentally sound detergents and cleaners in outside areas that may feed into water bodies including areas where vehicles are cleaned or maintained will aid in the non-point source pollution problem. (6) Discouraging animal presence, notably waterfowl. Animal droppings add excessive amounts of nutrients to a body of water.
The majority of ponds and lakes with declining water quality are directly affected by irresponsible fertilizer use. It is all too accurate that what makes grass green will also make ponds and lakes green.
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