The board has received some helpful information about the Stones Crossing entrance pond condition. All the ponds are on normal treatment schedules to help eliminate the buildup of algae from happening, but occasionally it does occur. We have contacted our contractor to have them come out and treat the pond. We expect to have the pond treated and looking better by the end of this week or early next week.
Below is a letter from Leistner Aquatic Services, the HOA’s contractor for the ponds. The ponds have been treated to fix this problem, please see the last paragraph for how they were treated.
“I stopped by Kensington last night to look at the ponds. Upon exiting my vehicle I could not only smell the fertilizer [but I could see] granules on the sidewalk as I crossed to inspect the first pond. The turf guys will admit that up to 10% of properly applied fertilizer can runoff. So if there are 100 homes using 100 pounds each that’s 1,000 pounds of fertilizer that ends up in these retention ponds. That’s not including the common areas and slopes that lead directly into the pond, and not all of it is being applied properly. The granules on the road or sidewalks [also] run into the drains and the ponds.
Weeds and algae need only three things to grow, water, sunlight and nutrients. In these housing additions, they get plenty of each and something is always going to grow. We are only allowed to use so much herbicides and algaecide and we are only allowed to do so so often. Our typical management practice is to attempt to balance the ecosystem as these water bodies are not pools with filtration systems. However, when customers demand that everything that grows is eradicated or when the water is so fertile that anything that begins to grow quickly explodes to nuisance levels, the result is often difficult to nearly impossible to control species taking over because they have nothing to compete with.
We have been dealing with lyngbia and oscillatoria in the NW and SE ponds for over a decade. Other than chemical management we always recommend proper aeration and the use of UV restricting dyes (as well as a holistic approach to fertilization) to help combat these chemical-resistant species. When I inspected the ponds last night I was pleased with the appearance and ecological balance of three of the 4. The NW pond, however, looked awful. It was 1/3 covered with lyngbia. This is the first year this species has been present in that pond to my knowledge and I sent one of our techs out today to throw the kitchen sink at it and we will hope for the best. There are a few “new” or “experimental” chemical treatments on the market and I helped him come up with a combination that we hope will knock the mats of algae down and get us through the remainder of the growing season. We did this at no additional charge, but offer no guarantee on results as we have only found about 50% success rate with these treatments in the last few years. Please bare with us as we are doing all we legally can.”