Waterscapes 101

Pond Sludge

Has your pond depth shrunk over the last 5-10 years?

Have you tried to walk into your pond and gotten stuck?

Are there foul sulphur-like odors coming from the pond?

If you answered YES to any of these questions, you likely have pond sludge / pond muck.

What causes pond muck?

The words muck and sludge can be used interchangeably to describe the decayed waste that accumulates at the bottom of a pond or lake. 

  • Dead pond weeds
  • Fallen leaves
  • Fish waste
  • Dead algae
  • Waterfowl waste
  • Grass clippings
  • Waste from cattle using the pond
  • Fish food

Any of the items listed above eventually convert to muck. Think of muck as landfill waste piling up from everything falling into the pond.   

pond sludge, how to clean muck from bottom of pond

Muck Degrades Your Pond Health

Sludge creates serious side effects! As it builds year after year pond depth shrinks. Muck is literally filling in the pond.While this gradual process is taking place, some more noticeable problems arise. 

 Indicators that pond muck is impacting a pond:

  • Algae blooms

  • Low water visibility

  • Foul odors

Other less noticeable impacts include:

  • Nutrient level spike
  • Drop in fish growth rate
  • Lower fish production levels
  • Increase in biological oxygen demand
  • Drop in dissolved oxygen levels

How to clean muck from bottom of pond

Shoreline scraping and complete pond dredging are the fastest options for pond bottom cleaning. It's important to know where the muck layer ends and the pond soil begins. Operate equipment with caution while removing material. Digging too deep can break the pond's seal, leaving you with a clean pond that doesn't hold water.

Muck takes time to dry. If sludge isn't being hauled away in containers, there needs to be enough area to stock pile material as it comes from the pond. Muck generally doesn't stack higher than 2 feet high unless it's contained. For example, if you have a 10,000 square foot pond that has a foot of muck, you will need an area of at least 5,000 square feet to place the removed sludge. If that same pond has 2 feet of muck, then you will need an area of 10,000 square feet for waste material to dry. 

Alternatively, Muck Remover pellets can be utilized to consume organic waste. This solution is slower than dredging, but is far less expensive. Treating the pond with muck pellets (good bacteria) is safe for fish and wildlife. We forgot to mention that point about dredging...you will lose the majority of your fish when the pond is drained. Muck Remover provides a safer solution that keeps your pond ecosystem intact while cleaning the bottom

Pond Sludge Removal