The last thing any irrigation pond owner wants to see is algae growing in the pond. Algae absorbs nutrients that are essential to healthy plant growth and creates a barrier, making it difficult for water to penetrate plant roots. In addition to affecting the plant growth, algae can clog drip tubes, irrigation lines, and tubes, causing problems that are expensive to fix. Fortunately, there are several ways to get rid of and control algae in your irrigation pond, and some solutions don't require the use of harsh chemicals.
When you choose a pond treatment program that uses beneficial bacteria, you don't need to use algaecides in your pond. However, beneficial bacteria don't attack algae aggressively like algaecides do. Instead, beneficial bacteria works to clean up the pond by attacking the things that algae need to survive. While the removal process is longer with beneficial bacteria than it is with algaecides, the beneficial bacteria treatments eventually create an algae-free environment.
Aeration infuses your pond water with oxygen to rid it of anoxic conditions. Once the water is clean, the algae can't survive and you'll notice that your plants seem healthier. However, don't expect pond aeration to be an immediate solution. Typically, pond aeration uses subsurface aquatic plants, as well as a pond aeration system to increase the levels of oxygen in the water.
The type of aeration system you need depends on the size of your pond. If you have a smaller pond, you can use a diffuser system that pushes air down to the bottom of the pond, allowing bubbles to rise naturally. However, a diffuser won't produce even oxygen to aerate a large pond. Instead, you'll need to use a surface aerator. Surface aerators float in the pond and pull water up, shooting it in the air to oxygenate it.
Barley straw doesn't kill existing algae. However, once you have the algae removed from your pond, it does prevent algae growth. While specialists don't understand how barley straw prevents algae growth, it's believed that as the straw decays it releases chemicals that inhibit algae growth.
If you decide to use barley straw to prevent algae growth, it's important that you only use dry straw. Fresh material won't decompose in the water. You should put your straw in the pond in the spring before algae begins to grow and replace it mid-season.
Getting rid of algae in your irrigation pond and preventing regrowth is essential. However, you don't need to use chemicals to complete the process as long as you give yourself plenty of time for proper preparation. You can get more information about building an irrigation pond from companies like Allan's Excavating & Trucking.