By Patrick Simmsgeiger, Founder of DWI
Community water features are intended to add elegance and ambiance; however, your body of water: a lake, or a pond, can quickly become your slimiest headache. Any abnormalities in the sight or smell, any malfunctions with the pumps or valves, or any shifts in the habitat are all situations that could cause your body of water to become your stressful problem. The fact is whether natural or man-made, every body of water requires attention and maintenance to preserve its beauty and functionality. All bodies of water experience problems; some are seen, some are unseen.
Man-made bodies of water like the ones that exist in apartment communities, condominiums, and golf courses are built, filled and left to the association or property management company to maintain. The water features are designed to compliment the property, serving as an aesthetic element. Unfortunately, the initial design of a water feature is crucial to proper function; but more often than not, a lake maintenance company is not consulted prior to the design and build. Still, lake maintenance professionals accept this and can move forward effectively, knowing how the design will affect the functionality.
Typically, the association or property management company personnel responsible for the maintenance of the on site water features have many other responsibilities. When put in charge of maintaining a man-made body of water, a relationship with a professional lake maintenance company will relieve your burden, making your task less strenuous.
Example: if your water feature has strange, slimy globs of green matter covering the surface, huge mats of a bizarre grass floating up from the bottom, the water is pea soup green, the pumps have ceased functioning, a large number of fish are either dead or dying, the waterfall has stopped running and the one remaining pump is making strange noises, what would you d0?
As the person responsible for the water feature, you may know much about the details of maintenance or the source of these problems; however, if you’ve established a relationship with a lake maintenance company you can trust them to handle the situation quickly and efficiently- with your property’s interests in mind.
Lake maintenance professionals are trained to help solve, and more importantly, to prevent problems such as the one provided in the example above. Chances are, if you’re the person in charge of your community’s water features, you also have many other responsibilities and slimy green globs over the surface of your body of water are likely the last item of business you want to think about. A proactive relationship with lake maintenance professionals will prevent your waterscape from ever reaching such an unhealthy state.
Working in conjunction with the person responsible for the management of a water feature and the board of directors, the lake maintenance professional not only sustains the water quality, but also brings items that need repair to the attention of the board, usually via the management company. The management company submits the recommendation for repair to the board, which is approved, denied or tabled. Many times, despite hiring a reputable lake maintenance company, the board will deny a repair or replacement recommendation because it was not preemptively accounted for in the annual budget.
With man-made water features, the initial problem could be brewing months before the effects ever surface. Too often lake maintenance companies are fallen in to “fix” a problem, and to do so immediately. Unfortunately, the true restoration or repair of a water feature involves time and patience. It took time to reach the unsightly state it will take time for it to repair. In order to avoid those situations, the proactive solution is: budget and reserve planning coupled with a regularly scheduled maintenance program.
Problem prevention starts with budgeting. Your lake maintenance professional can assist with your budgeting and planning. Lake maintenance companies are hired for their experience and knowledge- but they’re not just a “fix-it” team. Of course, they are knowledgeable about restoration; but they are also specialists in prevention. As a member of a property management company, you can contact them during your planning stages to get a grasp on which prevention or regular maintenance schedules are needed throughout the year. This will help you prevent larger and much more expensive problems from occurring.
This does not mean there won’t be problems; instead, this means there will be solutions. Lake maintenance professionals can provide you solutions for recovery and prevention. They have the field service technicians who do the actual work. These technicians know the steps to take in the treatment and restoration of the water and what to do in the event of equipment malfunction. Their office personnel are trained to assist in times of trouble, offer solutions, and keep the lines of communication open.
The lake, pond, or stream maintenance provider who implements your maintenance program should be a professional. The company should be able to provide proof of experience through verifiable, long-term references; as well as proof licenses, permits, general liability, workman’s compensation, and vehicle insurance. If you want to keep your body of water healthy and balanced, using a professional of good repute, regular maintenance of the aeration, the filtration, the pumps, the aquatic plants, the water, and the pest control is vital.
Once you find a company with these qualifications, you are on your way to enjoying a headache-free approach to maintaining your body of water.