Algae growth in ponds, lakes or lagoons is not only unsightly, it usually carries unruly odors and left untreated, will create disturbances in the waters natural ecosystem. These helpful guidelines will help you take back control of your water without harsh chemicals or toxins so readily available and promoted with disregard of their long term effects.
Understand that there are only two ways to sustainably stop algae in lakes, ponds and rivers. The first way is to address the problem of nutrient overload. One should ask: Why are there too many nutrients in the water? What can I do to reduce the nutrients entering the water? The second way is to plant heavy feeding aquatic species.
Eliminate the algae. This can be a daunting task – one that entails chemical, mechanical or biological treatment, all aimed at the same end result. Chemical treatments can be effective but do have disadvantages since most all of these types of treatments are an inorganic Copper Salt--usually copper sulfate (Cutrine) or something closely related. Copper Sulfate is a heavy metal. Heavy metals are not good for people, plants, or animals. Furthermore, chemical remediation kills the current crop of algae--as the dead algae rots it provides more food for the next growth of algae.
Understand that mechanical removal is tedious and the upkeep is more than most are ready to commit to due to the time consuming, never-ending work involved. Biological treatments are the safest eco-friendly approaches when dealing with nuisance weeds and have been the premier choice of method among professional, state and park managers.
Consider using bacterial treatments. Bacterial treatments are simply a super condensed version of the bacterial strains found in a pristine water body and their ability to force clarity through phosphate and nitrate reduction have made them the most popular and earth friendly approach to lake restoration and remediation. Bacteria introduced into the system quickly multiply and begin a never ending cycle of digesting the heavy sludge layers found in all lake, pond and lagoon beds. As organic material builds up in the water, nutrients, primarily Nitrogen, phosphorus and postassium are released into the water as the organic material decomposes. This creates eutrophic conditions (water overloaded with nutrients) which is the perfect condition for algae growth. Algaes, unlike other plants, use the water's dissolved oxygen during the night. A body of water, depleted of oxygen, cannot support any aerobic life and will soon become a anaerobic (smelly) cesspool.
Block the sunlight. Sunlight is another fuel for algae and plenty of sunlight equates to plenty of algae (only if Eutrophic conditions exist). Modern bioremediation techniques include bacterial treatments running concurrently with water dyes (that don't usually work) designed to block out light in order to inhibit the growth of algae while supporting the bacterial degradation and nutrient depletion effects of bacterial additives. Many companies offer “blue” and “black” dyes containing mostly blue dye while more advance formulas are adding yellow based dyes to their blend which effectively block a broader spectrum of sunlight.