When you think of geese, you probably envision their elongated necks, their impressive wingspan, and their elegant V formation as they soar through the sky above. Geese are such a majestic part of our natural surrounding that it can be quite easy to forget that these waterfowl are actually quite a nuisance.
We’ve all heard stories of geese presenting a range of problems, from attacking humans to bringing down sophisticated jetliners. Somewhere in between these two extremes lies the everyday reality of the goose nuisance: colonies of geese in your back yard, your favorite park, or the best golf course in town.
Why does this happen? Quite simply, any time there is a large body of water, it attracts geese in droves. The surrounding grassy areas suddenly become the birds’ breeding ground and grazing area. Considering that one bird can deposits half a pound of fecal matter into the environment each day, a gaggle of geese often equates to an unspeakable mess.
If it weren’t bad enough that goose droppings leave an area unsightly and impassable, they also lead to erosion and environmental problems that can permanently damage property. For a business invaded by geese, the result is a loss of usable area. Unfortunately, this is not a seasonal issue. When geese come to nest, they tend to stay. And they multiply quickly.
From the inconvenient to the downright dangerous, there are numerous recommendations for those who wish to remove geese from their property. Some suggestions include building effigies of animals that prey on geese, installing speakers that emit the distress calls of other birds, removing eggs from geese nests (yikes! Remember that these birds attack!), and obtaining a permit to spray liquid pesticides in the area.
Do you really want to endure such a hassle? Why not call a professional to deal with your goose problem once and for all? ARM has a team of experts ready to tackle your goose nuisance for good.
ARM offers a monthly plan tailored to your precise goose control needs, without invasive or dangerous tactics.
The ARM Goose Control Plan is an eco-friendly spray regimen that safely and effectively deters geese without damaging your property or the surrounding area. Geese are never harmed in the ARM process: the spray is offensive enough to geese that it naturally encourages them to find a new breeding ground, yet mild enough that it won’t harm plants and other wildlife.
The ARM Goose Control Plan will have you enjoying geese again, in the way they should be appreciated: from a distance. With the ARM Goose Control Plan on your property, the only place you’ll see geese is in the sky above.
To get rid of your goose problem and reclaim your property, call 800.761.1715 and speak to an ARM Goose Control Specialist today.
Many of us have gazed upon an impressive jet of water, shooting up into the air, from the middle of an otherwise placid lake. Around the world there are many records held for the tallest, widest and greatest lake fountains the human eye can experience. It is no secret that moving water draws a crowd of admirers, and a fountain display can be very aesthetically pleasing. But that’s not the only purpose of a Lake Fountain. In fact, their very existence maintains the complex and alien ecosystem of every pond and lake across the globe.
You may be familiar with the term ‘Aeration’, or ‘Aerification’- which basically means the process by which air mixes with a liquid. A collection of still, calm water might look like the sort of area that doesn’t require a lot of maintenance or monitoring in order to serve its purpose, but underneath the surface the reactions and changes that are occurring can be extremely damaging.
Lake aeration involves maintaining a healthy level of oxygen saturation in the water. This helps to keep control of the level of algae and e-coli bacteria in the lake at a manageable level. Without it, levels of noxious gases such as Ammonia, Carbon Dioxide, Methane and Hydrogen Sulphide would be released in a rather large way, leading to pond-life death and a general nasty smell and atmosphere to be around. By maintaining appropriate oxygen levels, any fish or waterfowl in the area will be able to thrive, without fear of disease or even suffocation.
The way that lake fountains counteract these harmful threats is by providing an adequate level of surface agitation. Most traditional fountains run via a motor propeller and pull the water from the surface and surrounding area. This is then propelled into the air for two purposes; to be admired and revered by anyone who might be standing nearby, and to split the water into droplets that are big enough to collect fresh oxygen and return to the water with it, thus aerating the surface level water. Of course, sometimes surface level aeration isn’t enough, and there are now fountains available that pull water from even further below the surface in order to circulate oxygen to larger areas.
Maintaining the perfect aquatic ecosystem is vital for many different reasons. Environmentally, plant and animal life need certain conditions in order to thrive, and where these thrive, more shall be tempted to come along. This, in turn, benefits the community, or your family and friends, if you have a residential fountain, as a healthy, aesthetically pleasing place attracts more visitors. Western life is often considered to be more stressful and technology-orientated than ever before, so the value of a natural place of beauty to sit and admire is greater than it ever has been. This can be achieved easily and look impressive to all who are lucky enough to witness a lake fountain and the functional process of aeration at work.
Now is the time to start thinking about winterizing your MistAway systems. It is a necessary procedure to insure your system will keep working so you can enjoy mosquito free summers for years to come. Damage can be caused by water freezing in the lines, misting heads, or pumps, this can cause cracking and leaking. Having the system drained and purged will prevent any damage.
Hello everyone! Every month we will feature a fountain from around the area. This beautiful fountain is located in Chesapeake at Riverwalk. This unit is an Otterbine 10 hp Mystic. It has a spray height of about 40 feet.
Keep checking in to see if your fountain or water feature are featured on our page. If you have a picture you would like to post, please email it to us and we will use it.
It seems every Spring through Fall you see it; out on your pond or lake that earlier had been the perfect Norman Rockwell painting is now a prominent green apron of something that doesn’t quite look right. Closer inspection indicates it is not a vegetative (plant-like) growth but rather a mat of some of the most foul smelling and slimy “Exorcist-like” stuff you have ever seen. Welcome to the Algae Zone.
A point-of-fact is that Algae is a generalized term that attempts to describe a very broad group of organisms that all have their own distinctive characteristics. There are literally, thousands of different algal species. Trying to identify them has gone from some basic picture-and-key identification to genome DNA / RNA microscopy that would make Sherlock Holmes sweat. Without getting into the boring specifics, there is one major characteristic that is quite interesting and that is many of the algal organisms exhibit signs of being just like bacteria. You know, the bacteria that you are constantly cleaning from the counter surfaces in the home kitchen or the bathroom…those bacteria.
As everyone who is reading this surely remembers from their High School Biology class that stimulating subject entitled the ‘Hierarchal System of Biological Classification’, which is as follows: Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus and Species. Put another way: King Phillip Crossed Over France Going South.
So now you’re thinking to yourself, ‘why did I just have a Biology lesson?’ The short answer is…. “I just tricked you.” The long answer is that you’ll recall from the previous paragraph that some Algae exhibit signs of being just like bacteria. In fact, one of the largest groups of Algae that plague your lake and pond water with algal blooms is the Blue-Green Algae that is now referred to as Cyanobacteria and is classified in the Bacteria Phylum.
Now we can get back to your Norman Rockwell painting turned-nightmare and start figuring out how to deal with the icky mess. As far as you are concerned, whether it is plant, animal, bacteria or mineral; you want this ugly, slimy mess gone. In the home kitchen or the bathroom you may reach for a typical cleaner which probably contains bleach. While it does a good job in the house, bleach is not very eco-friendly and the ‘alphabet-soup police’ (e.g., EPA, DCR, F&W, etc.) tend to frown on its use in the environment. Long gone are the days that the universal curatives of Bleach, Kerosene or Diesel antidotes that would do the trick.
Today, we call upon the EPA to regulate the chemical agents that can be used in the environment where they have little to measured impact on the overall ecology. Any pesticides/herbicides used in or near the water must have an aquatics rating as certified by the EPA along with their registered number given to that product. A label of directions and limitations is attached to that product and this is how the chemical must be used. All applicators-for-hire must follow the label and its directions.
So now you have a huge algal bloom on your pond. The good news here is that algae can be controlled with some proper management techniques. One of the techniques is the use of an algaecide. It must be properly applied to be effective. Also, since algae forms the basis of a very complex food chain, the idea is not to eradicate it but to control it and keep it from forming the ugly mats or blooms.
Control of algae is temporary at best. Just as in your home kitchen or bath where the right conditions favor a problem waiting to happen and, without constant attention you must constantly clean the same thing is true in the environment. There are always plenty of the right conditions (sunlight, temperature, nutrients) available during most of the year and hence, plenty of opportunities for the blooms.
One of the main reasons that algae are so prolific is that unlike the complex reproductive structures of land plants, algae follow the quick regenerative properties of bacteria. This allows them to be the food basis for the ecology they support as well as being the pesky problem that plagues your house or your pond.
As mentioned earlier, one technique to control algae is the use of chemical algaecides. Copper, in some form (compound or chelated), is the active ingredient used in algaecides. EPA has determined through years of study that the levels of copper used according to label rates are safe for the environment. But algae, like bacteria, also respond to other stimulus for control. Another technique for control is aeration. A well planned and properly sized aeration system (either fountain-style or sub-surface bubblers) is also an excellent technique for controlling algae.
Just because you have an aeration system doesn’t mean you’ll never have an algal bloom. Remember, we are dealing with something on Mother Nature’s time frame. She has all the time in the world and the patience of a Saint; when time and conditions are right….. In having a proper aeration system designed for your water body, it helps in producing a favorable climate for another type of bacteria; the aerobic bacteria. These are the ‘good guys’ that circulate throughout the water consuming the nutrients while not producing a bloom byproduct. The idea is the aerobic bacteria out-compete the algae for the food source. Reduced food; reduced algal blooms.
Oftentimes, however, algae are seen as the problem but in fact, the real problem may be a dense undergrowth of some type of aquatic vegetation (weeds). The weeds grow so thick that their tips lay along the water surface and serve as a platform for the algae to thrive. The algae then grow thick enough to mask the underlying problem. This fools many do-it-yourselfer’s into committing their time and resource on treating a symptom and not the problem.
Treatment of the afore-mentioned problem is food for another article on another day.
Insights into Lake & Pond Management
Many homeowners and Property Managers are often faced with a question concerning a lake or pond on their property. For some, this may be their first experience in dealing with this ecosystem and the prospect of what to do can be intimidating. Looking at a plot of land in disarray, decisions of what to do and options for implementing them are often plentiful. Faced with a body of water in a similar state and suddenly options seem to ‘dry up’ (pardon the pun).
The purpose of this article will attempt to define what problems your water body can have and some remedies for correcting them. The first question is “What is a BMP (your water body) and why must it be here? The answer is simple. Your BMP is a SWMF. …Say What!?!… The letters ‘BMP’ and ‘SWMP’ stand for Best Management Practice and this applies to the need for some intelligent Storm Water Management Facility planning. In a forest or a very large open tract of land, Mother Nature has plenty of options to re-direct or absorb the rain water. Once we pave the area for streets and consume land space for houses, the ability to naturally re-direct or absorb the rain water changes and now we have a problem.
Land Planners look at the natural terrain and decide on what management options best fit the site to deal with the sudden influx of rain water. They know they need a SWMF and now the decision is which type of BMP takes care of the problem. The SWMF come in a variety of forms; they can be ‘dry’ holding areas called Detention Ponds. These look like a large depression or a shallow hole in the ground and once rain fills the hole it quickly drains out to some channel downstream. A ‘wet’ holding area (your pond) is a retention Pond. It is designed to accept the rain water influx and through its overflow system allow a measured volume of water out. Looking at your land, there can also be gulley’s or ditches to help channel the water. Summing this all up, there can be a variety of different SWMF’s employed on your property. Now the big question is – “Why does it have to look so bad?”
It doesn’t. Just because this facility performs a function doesn’t mean it can’t be aesthetically pleasing. In fact, property that backs up to, or borders, the retention ponds are often sold for more money (and sold as waterfront property) than property that doesn’t. It may take years, but at some point Mother Natures’ penchant for filling in a body of water and turning it into a bog or marsh kicks in. This condition may be aesthetically unacceptable to your property or to the association as a whole. A knee-jerk reaction often heard to correcting this unsightly mess is an attempt to bring in truckloads of dirt and fill it in. As explained above, this will not address the problem. You are simply trading a short term solution for an aggravating long term problem.
The answer is to simply be pro-active in regards to the maintenance of this facility. It is reasonable to expect that without any constant maintenance of an ecosystem, whether it is your yard, the community park or the pond, Mother Nature has an arsenal of tools to employ that will revert the system back to a natural setting. Keep one thing in mind; Mother Nature has no time limit. Whether it takes a hundred years or a hundred days doesn’t matter; your concept of an acceptable aesthetic view of the lake ecosystem may not be the same as the tendencies of nature. It takes a concerted intervention on your part to keep the system from falling into decline.
We need to take a moment and lay out some of the more troubling issues that can befall your pond. In the water, there are lots of algae and aquatic vegetation issues that can really cause some heartburn for the property owner/manager. A lot of the pest plant species can be very overpowering and consume the pond wrecking any chances for species diversity and local natural plant selection. Every year, hundreds of millions of dollars are spent on waterways to keep the invasive species under control. The operative phrase here is “under control” not eradicated. Most who read this are familiar with Lake Gaston. There has been a long, multi- year concerted effort by all parties concerned to get the invasive plant species Hydrilla under control. Many millions of dollars have been spent on this one plant species. Guess who’s winning…? It is Mother Nature in the win column while human kind comes in last. This does not mean that the folks around Lake Gaston are giving up. They just pick their battles, and savor their victories as they can.
Another misconception is that just because over the last several years one has had no issues with the pond that this will be the way it is forever. I have heard many a frustrating comment that ‘their pond is never a problem’. Suddenly their pond is a problem – a big problem. It could be algae, an aquatic vegetation, a shoreline vegetation like Cattails or Phragmites, an emergent vegetation like Alligator Weed or a combination of all the above. If ever the word “dynamic” applies to anything, it does apply to Mother Nature. If she has the power to make a tree root crack the foundation of a building, imagine what she can do to your little “Norman Rockwell” pond.
One big tip here is do not let anyone other than your lake and pond specialists place any aquatic vegetation into your pond. Regardless of where this plant came from, it can be a highly invasive species just looking for the right opportunity. Water Hyacinth is sold in many garden stores throughout our area and across the US. Water Hyacinth is the World’s number one pest aquatic invasive plant! A few years ago, someone had a small water garden in their backyard. Their backyard backed directly up to a BMP pond. The owner must have gotten tired of dealing with the water garden but did not want to kill off the Water Hyacinth plant – one small plant. The owner put it in the pond. Within a few short years and many thousands of dollars later, the plant was brought under control. Plants are called “Invasive” for a reason.
It is also interesting that in many garden stores, certain aquatic plants are sold to aquarium enthusiasts as ‘oxygen producing’ plants. The next time you go into this store, ask that same clerk you want to buy a ‘non-oxygen producing’ plant. Good luck in finding one. All plants photosynthesize. When sunlight abounds they produce oxygen. With night time or heavy cloud cover these same plants respire or consume oxygen. In general, the water body tends to stay at a balance where plant life is sustained. When conditions of nutrients, sunlight and temperature come together in one happy medium, issues can arise. It is easy to get algae blooms. Algae is the one ‘plant’ that has no long term control. If the pond has the right ingredients, you can have an algae bloom once every 30 to 45 days. With the right chemical application aquatic vegetation may be controlled for a year or two. Just because you don’t see it doesn’t mean it is not there.
When there is an abundance of vegetation in the pond and there is no aeration going on, the pond may be a candidate for an oxygen collapse due to the aging requirements of dying plant mass. Even though not one drop of chemical was put into this pond, there can be a major fish kill. When a plant dies of its own natural causes; and if enough of them die together they respire and therefore consume the available oxygen in the water. The fish suffer and one thing you may notice if you are standing on the edge of this particular pond, is seeing fish come to the surface sucking or ‘piping’ for oxygen. Just be glad you are not ‘Charlie the Tuna’ at this moment.
Another catastrophic event can occur even without the issue of aquatic vegetation. A fish kill can occur when atmospheric and storm weather related events come together and cause the pond to “turn” or “flip”. Without getting into the details, as a rule – cold water sits on the bottom and warm water sits on top. Cold water holds more oxygen than warm water does. In our shallow (4 -8 feet depth) ponds the fish know where the oxygen rich zones are. They will be down towards the bottom. When the pond flips, it disorients the fish and those living in the high oxygen zone are now living in a low oxygen zone. The result is a major fish kill and again not one drop of chemical.
A quick note on chemicals will be helpful here. All the chemicals used in the aquatics field are all tested and approved by the EPA. When a chemical is applied to a target plant, and the target takes up most of the pond, the phenomena of what happens to an aging plant population can now happen here. Too many plants die at one time causing the respiration of available oxygen and the result is a major fish kill. However, even though chemicals were added, the fish did not die from chemical poisoning. They died from lack of oxygen. I suppose it would be safe to make an obvious statement here – “lack of oxygen kills….”
As one who has read this, you can see that there is a lot to keep in mind when taking care of a wet or dry pond. There are so many issues I haven’t even begun to discuss that involve the proper maintenance of a SWMF. With a little luck, I can let my two fingers heal from all this typing and submit some more information. I would be honored to hear from anyone who has questions or concerns about their BMP. Until next time…..
Steve Weekly an Aquatic Biologist at www.armva.com
Fountains & Aeration Services
Maintaining a healthy aquatic ecosystem is a full-time, year-round enterprise. One of the most important factors involved with maintaining such an aquatic ecosystem revolves around the science of aeration through fountains and subsurface devises. Simply stated, every body of water requires oxygen. Surface and/or subsurface aeration is the technique Aquatic Resource Management uses to provide your body of water with enough oxygen to remain healthy and viable. Most importantly, aeration aids in the control of:
* Algae blooms and anaerobic pathogens like e-coli
* The release of noxious gasses such as of hydrogen sulfide, ammonia, methane and carbon dioxide
* The release of phosphates and heavy metals like iron and manganese
* Oxygen depleted fish-kills
* Plus, other harmful bacteria that can cause fish and waterfowl disease
Aquatic Resource Management achieves proper water body aeration by using pond aerators and fountains. Pond aerators release fine oxygen bubbles at the bottom of the pond or lake, and as the bubbles flow to the surface they release oxygen into the surrounding water molecules along the way. Fountains aid in aeration near the surface of the pond or lake as cascading water creates bubbles both on and just beneath the water’s surface. While aerators and fountains increase the oxygen levels within a pond or lake, they also increase the aesthetic value of the surrounding property.
Call 800.761.1715 to learn more about our fountains and subsurface aerators.