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Best Management Practices for Caretending Around a Lake or Pond

Runoff Control “Out of Lake Management” – A reduction in the inflow of these nutrients can have a significant impact on the function of the pond. Sources of nutrients include applied fertilizer, grass clippings and leaves, fowl excrement, among others. A watershed approach to reducing the organic content of storm water runoff should be developed in an explicit watershed runoff control plan for the entire neighborhoods.

  • Reducing the application of fertilizer adjacent to the pond will provide a direct impact. Additionally, collection of grass clippings and leaves will reduce the amount of nutrients which come to the pond from these sources. Fertilizer applications within 50 feet of a water body or stream should be applied with a drop spreader. These should be zero phosphorous. One pound of phosphorous can feed 10 pounds of algae.
  • Normally, nitrogen leaching from fertilizer applied to turf is very small when slow-release sources are used, but it can be higher under optimum conditions and when soluble fertilizer sources are used. Runoff contaminants from turf are usually negligible, which makes turfgrass an excellent buffer strip.
  • Use slow-release nitrogen sources.
  • Minimize late fall fertilization with soluble nitrogen sources, especially near watersheds and on sensitive sites.
  • Develop dense, healthy turf.
  • Apply fertilizer under carefully controlled conditions.
  • Create a no-mow zone of at least one foot surrounding the pond. This will allow native vegetation and grass to aid in removing nutrients and by not having to mow so close, grass clippings blown into the pond will be lessoned. This also aids in the stabilization of the bank's edge for a natural erosion control.

For more information:
Commonwealth Water Education Project:
The mission of the Commonwealth Water Education Project is to improve the nonpoint source pollution knowledge base of all Kentuckians and to encourage them to take personal and collective action to improve the quality of Kentucky's streams and rivers.

Other links from Commonwealth Water Education Project:
Yucky Stuff: Don't Feed The Storm Drain!
Exposed Soil: Cover It Up!
Excess Fertilizer: Save $$$ and Protect Streams!
Lawn Fertilizer: Think Fall and Use Less!
Animal Waste: Keep It Up-Off the Land!
Sewage: Get to the Bottom of It!

Bluegrass PRIDE (Personal Responsibility In a Desirable Environment):
Provides environmental resources and information to schools, community groups, local governments and citizens in Central Kentucky. For more more information on PRIDE's campaigns which focus on water quality and solid waste.

ENGINEERING —Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government:
Stormwater Services. Construction Site Runoff Control. Letter to Home Builders dated 9/30/04. Erosion and Sediment Control Requirements for Home Builders.


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Aquatic Plant Management Society
Central Kentucky Ornamental and Turf Association
Homebuilders Association of Lexington
North American Lake Management Society
Kentucky Nursery and Landscape Association
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