We asked representatives from pond management companies: What’s the biggest mistake that golf course superintendents make when it comes to pond maintenance?

Here’s what they had to say:

Jim Spindler | Certified Professional Agronomist, Ecologel Solutions LLCtalking-pond

In general, people are drawn toward instant gratification, and when it comes to pond maintenance superintendents are no exception. When an algae bloom occurs, the natural tendency is to reach for an algaecide. While the use of algaecides can be incredibly effective in the short term, they do nothing to address the cause and may actually contribute to future blooms. The long-term solution is to treat the conditions that cultivate algae, such as nutrient loading from decaying plant material, runoff, aquatic birds, etc. These excess nutrients not only provide a food source for algae, but also contribute to foul odors and poor water clarity.

James C. Schmidt | Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Applied Biochemists

The biggest mistake is not identifying your nuisance plant(s). Know your target plant — distinguish between algae and vascular plants. Next, you’ll need to measure water depth and surface area to calculate how much product is needed. Now select a product(s) that lists the target vegetation and conforms to the intended use-site requirements. After you’ve read the label reviewing precautions, dosage, dilution, application equipment and technique, you can apply the product. Proper timing of treatments, accurate dosing and sufficient contact time optimize control and avoid undesirable conditions to develop.

Mark Koepsell | Healthy Ponds Sales Representative, Bioverse Inc.

The biggest mistake made when it comes to pond maintenance is neglect. When a pond is left unattended and without proper treatment, many problems will arise. Algae and weeds are the main issues that will need to be addressed. Not allowing organic debris to get into the pond and removing this matter from the pond is very important. The key to keeping your pond water clean is: keeping a watchful eye on the pond, knowing the issues (algae versus weeds) and knowing the treatment options available to keep your pond naturally clean.

Jason Fausey | Weed Scientist, Nufarm

The biggest mistake people make is applying a product in their irrigation ponds that can end up hurting their turf. If you use glyphosate or too high a rate of copper for aquatic plant management and immediately use that water for irrigation, you risk having a negative response on your turf. You need to use a product with a short irrigation restriction.

Brian Pirl | Vice President of Operations, US Aqua Vac

Too many times I have seen a superintendent or course management put off a basic irrigation or pond cleaning until “next year” when they should have done it. Then too many times it bites them and it’s too late. A thick sand bar is created or an irrigation system is burnt up.