How to Keep Pond Water Clear
A common problem with new and old ponds and lakes is cloudy water. Cloudy pond water is caused by a variety of factors or combinations of factors. To clarify pond water we must first determine what is the root cause of the cloudiness. Not all products or methods will work for all situations. We carry an assortment professional products and equipment that will clear cloudy water: Aeration, Pond Dye, Algaecides, Pond Fountains, Beneficial Pond Bacteria, Alum, 2 Part Clarifier with Aluminum Sulfate and Liquid Clarifiers. Accurate surface area and depth measurements will allow you to accurately make calculations for your pond. Pond volume in gallons is an important piece of data used when dosing your pond products or choosing an aeration system. Here is a simple method for determining why your water may be cloudy and which product or products are best for your situation.
Step 1: You will need two identical clear containers. Mason jars, clear soda bottles or water glasses will work just fine.
Step 2: Fill each glass or bottle with water from the cloudy pond or lake.
Step 3: Put one container near, but not directly in, a sunny window and the other in a cabinet or closet away from light.
Step 4: Check the containers after 48 hours. If both containers have cleared, your cloudiness is almost surely caused by agitation. Turbidity from agitation could be due to: rooting fish (Koi,carp, bullhead), wave action on a muddy shore or surface water runoff bringing in silt. Livestock like ducks or horses could also stir up silt making your water cloudy. The solution in this case is to remove the source of agitation. Hay bales and grass seed can help contain exposed soils. Fish and livestock would have to be removed or relocated. Aeration will help coagulate and settle silt and clay
Step 5: If after 48 hours both containers are still cloudy, we must determine the coloration of the cloudiness. Place a piece of white paper behind the two containers. Does either container display a greenish pea soup tint? If yes, then algae is part of your problem. Some products for algae include algaecides, pond dye, phosphate eliminating pond treatments (Aluminum Sulphate), aeration and beneficial bacteria. If the coloration is more of an ice tea color, then organics and tannins released from leaves and other dead vegetation are likely the cause. Removing as much excess material with Pond Rakes and Nets, then dosing with muck pellets and either liquid or toss pack bacteria will digest what is Justify. Aeration will speed up the digestion process greatly.
Step 6: If after 48 hours both containers are still the same, and a milky or gray color, then you most likely have a situation where the particles of clay are electrostaticly charged. Particles having the same charge will repel one another and stay suspended instead of attracting each other, clumping up and settling out. Guess what.......? Aeration in this case will drive out carbon dioxide (like shaking a soda) and stabilize the pH which will allow some particles to take on the opposite charge and start the settling process. A pinch of regular baking power in one container may confirm this situation by causing some particles to take on the opposite charge and start the coagulation process. Clarity of the treated container should improve within 24 hours. You can also purchase a small container of food grade Alum in the spice section of the grocery store and use a pinch along with the baking powder. This combination is our 2 part clarifier. Often an aluminum sulphate containing product is the most effective and likely to clear your water, but the cause may still need to be remedied. Gypsum, Hydrated Lime and Agricultural Lime have also proven useful for clearing pond water, but applications are measured in hundreds of pounds or even tons making this a job for professional pond managers in many cases.