By Patrick Simmsgeiger, Founder of DWI
It’s part of your organization. This lake, stream, pond, or this pain. Oftentimes property owners build a pond or lake thinking they fare well for the community.
Every water feature requires attention. They all experience problems; some seen; some unseen. All of these issues need to be attended to. Counties and States are addressing water conditions in their locales, are your troubles being dealt with?
Once in place, the initial design of a water feature is crucial to proper function. The features have been completed, filled and the project turned over an Association. Characteristics will have to be dealt with as is and not altered. The lake specialist may bring to your attention the design, or lack of. Just as man has toyed with nature, man has toyed with his idea of “natural” water.
Example: Your water feature has slimy globs of green matter covering the surface. There are huge tangles of grass floating from the bottom. The water is pea green. Two pumps have stopped working. A large number of fish are either dead or dying. The waterfall is clogged and the one remaining pump is making noises. You have several problems. All of the “answers” are different and you realize that only one thing is true… this is going to be costly.
There are two possible causes. First, there is a lack of money in the budget to cover treatment or repair. Second, after a few years the water features are just faulty.
There are two possible causes. First, there is a lack of money in the budget to cover treatment or repair. Second, after a few years the water features are juts faulty.
There are two possible solutions. First, prepare a budget that will authorize a lake maintenance crew to treat the grassy sludge. They will clear and dissolve the algae. You should approve the removal; repair or replacement of pumps and authorize the additional expense for new aeration, fish or plants. This should be a 1-2 month process. Second, find the three reputable maintenance companies, request bids, conduct interviews, hire a company and give notice to the current company. The longer you wait, the worse the condition will be. Your homeowner will become irritated and complain.
A budget; reserve planning and a regular maintenance program should be in place. The maintenance provider must be a professional. The company ought to provide proof of licenses, permits, general liability, workman’s comp, vehicle insurance; a proven track record along with long term references. Working with responsible management; a board of directors and professional maintenance crew will insure a quality of water environment.
Make a reserve study of repair costs, what is in need of replacement, or what has been repaired. Costs to replace pumps fish and plants should also be factored into a working budget. Also factor in the type of body of water you are dealing with.
A proactive solution to any problem is regular maintenance. The lake professional should have adequate options for repair or replacement issues; be educated on how to repair/ replace a float valve, pump, filter, coupling, or fill valve malfunction. Customer service and satisfaction is key. The company should also be able to distinguish between an urgent situation or non emergency.
The bottom line is to plan for your water feature’s maintenance and repairs by having a budget firmly in place. Hire a lake maintenance company that has a good reputation. Keep lines of communication open between the board, the management company and conservation company.
Remember, if you want to keep a lake healthy and balanced, use a professional of good reputation, regular safeguarding of the aeration, the filtration, the pumps, the aquatic plants, the water, and pest control is vital.