ORGANIC SEDIMENT, SLUDGE or MUCK | Pond Owners Blog

WHAT is ORGANIC SEDIMENT, SLUDGE or MUCK?

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WHAT is ORGANIC SEDIMENT, SLUDGE or MUCK?

ORGANIC SEDIMENT, SLUDGE or MUCK is that black nasty smelling stuff (hydrogen sulfide) on the bottom of a pond. It is both natural and normal for ponds to have some degree of buildup on their bottom, especially when surrounded by lots of trees. It is also considered to be a healthy process in a natural body of water, since it provides a food source to microscopic aquatic life forms.

However, that ORGANIC SEDIMENT, SLUDGE or MUCK can represent the accumulation of years of nutrients and organic matter entering the pond through various sources. It is a combination of fish, and other aquatic animal waste, dead plant materials, such as leaves and weeds that have settled to the bottom. Additionally, I may include: grass clippings, fertilizers from the yard, runoff from septic leach beds, and waste from other animals traveling between ponds for their water source. Other contributors to the problem also include: Waterfowl droppings, feathers, previous seasons aquatic weeds that have been chemically controlled, dead algae, spring pollens, and dust.

ORGANIC SEDIMENT, SLUDGE or MUCK should not be confused with silt. ORGANIC SEDIMENT, SLUDGE or MUCK is decaying matter, that is why it has a very dark color, and has a foul nasty odor (hydrogen sulfide).  Silt is a different kind of problem and will be discussed in a separate post.

Carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus are the primary nutrients created by ORGANIC SEDIMENT, SLUDGE or MUCK. These nutrients are a food source for algae, aquatic weeds, and other aquatic wild life living in the pond. While some levels of these nutrients are necessary to support the aquatic life living in the pond, sufficient quantities can enter the water naturally from rain, ground water, sunlight, and the atmosphere. That over powering smell of rotten eggs, and the very presents of ORGANIC SEDIMENT, SLUDGE or MUCK is a definite sign of an oxygen deficiency, and a nutrient overload.

Excessive amounts of such nutrients, and shortages of oxygen, should be reduced, controlled, and resolved before it leads to fish kills. The reduction of those nutrients by a more natural means of algae and aquatic weed management has, therefore, become a major focus in the past few years. The methods available for the reduction and/or elimination of ORGANIC SEDIMENT, SLUDGE or MUCK are biological treatments using aerobic bacteria, mechanical dredging, or sediment removal techniques. These methods will be discussed in more detail in a separate post(s).

 

 

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