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MetaFloc Phosphate Removal Case Study

Metafloc is the first biological phosphorus removal product available in the pond and lake management industry. While other products available on the market are aluminum or lanthanum based, this is an all-natural alternative which consists of beneficial bacteria formulated for phosphate binding.

We wanted to test the effectiveness of MetaFloc in a pond with historic phosphorus problems.

Metafloc was sprayed across the surface of a pond to reduce available phosphorus in the water column. The pond has experienced cyanobacteria blooms in recent years. The overall goal of this treatment was to reduce cyanobacteria presence by removing available phosphorus.

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Pond Project Site:

The 0.7 acre pond is located in southern Pennsylvania. The maxium water depth is 11' with an average depth of 8'.

The pond is situated down slope from nutrient-rich farm fields. The watershed is approximately 75 acres of agricultural ground. The home sits approximately 70 feet from the pond with a deck which overlooks the water body. Drainage that flows into the pond is high in phosphorus and nitrogen. No livestockis present on the property. All nutrient-rich drainage comes from legacy nutrients within soils.  

farm pond treatment

Pond History

The pond owners applied seasonal treatments to their pond. In their absence mid-summer, Natural Waterscapes was asked to take over their regular treatments. The pond regularly flushes during early summer. This causes the surface inlet to clog. Because there was no drainage, algae, duckweed and watermeal took over much of the pond surface. Once we cleared the pipe for the pond owners, heavy rains were able to flush the duckweed and watermeal from the pond.

A new problem arose after the surface was clear of debris- cyanobacteria. The species identified at the pond was microcystis.


The pond historically struggles with high nutrient levels, especially after significant rainfall events. A solar powered aeration system with battery back-up was installed to improve dissolved oxygen and circulation. Standard pond maintenance treatments included Muck Remover, Pond Cleanse, Phosphate Eliminator and Pond Dye.

By August 2022, the owners were concerned with the odor coming from the active cyanobacteria bloom. They were not able to enjoy being outside or near the pond at all without being concerned with what they were breathing. The phosphorus reading at the time of microcystis identification was 0.35 mg/L.

Reactive measures had to be taken to get the cyano bloom under control. GreenClean 5.0, a professional grade version of GreenClean peroxide based algaecide, was applied to reduce the algal mass (for pond owners- use GreenClean Pro).


Cyanobacteria before GreenClean 5.0


Cyanobacteria after GreenClean 5.0

Experiment Objective:

The objective of the Metafloc treatment was to gain better control of cyanobacteria presence. The property owners wanted to improve water quality without the use of chemicals, if at all possible. Reducing toxic microcystis concentration and also improving air quality near the pond were the primary goals.


Preparations for Metafloc Application:

We wanted to assess the effectiveness of Metafloc over the previously used Phosphate Eliminator. Ahead of our Metafloc application in 2023, we installed Biochar socks along the inflow drainage area. This was done to ensure results were less impacted by heavy rains. We continued usual routine treatment regiments until a string of bad weather passed in the month of July. Our fear was that the regular flushing of the water would also impact the true results of the Metafloc treatment. Water quality data was collected biweekly leading up to Metafloc application.

Prior to application, the phosphorus (PO4) reading at 10' water depth was 0.21mg/L.

Metafloc Biological Phosphorus Removal Application

Metafloc was dilluted in a tank sprayer at a rate of 2:1. We added 12 gallons of Metafloc to 6 gallons of water. The treatment was evenly distributed throughout the entire pond by boat on August 17, 2023.

The microcystis bloom during the time of application was significantly less than that of the previous year. There was only a visible bloom along shorelines.

Follow-up visits occured to apply routine Muck Remover pellets, Pond Cleanse bacteria packets and Pond Dye. During these visits water quality was monitored through the entire water column.


Metafloc Results:

After the mid-August application of Metafloc, on-site testing procved that the treatment effectively controlled the phosphorus. Levels remained at a non-detect level (less than 0.01mg/L) at all follow-up visits for the season.

Because we were able to reduce the available phosphorus, the microcystis bloom in the fall was minimal. Although we planned for a GreenClean 5.0 application later in the season, it was not required.

MetaFloc successfully removed the phosphorus from the water column and created a cleaner, safer water body for the homeowners.