The Danger Of Duck Poo And Wee In The Water

Duck Poo In Dams Can Destroy Water Quality

Blame it on the doodie

How ducks contribute to algae growth

This lil guy has been busy…

There’s nothing more tranquil than sitting by a lake, watching a proud family of ducks gracefully skim the water. But underneath the surface, some serious toilet business is being conducted and the ecology of the waterbody affected.

A duck can defecate up to 96 times a day (who’s got the Kleenex)?! One family of ducks will produce 365,000 poops per year, all of which sink to the bottom of your dam. Fecal matter contains phosphorous and nitrogen which is essentially food that fuels the growth of hazardous blue-green algae. Eutrophication is a natural process describing the enrichment of nutrients over time. Duck poo creates excess nutrients for weeds and algae to grow as it speeds up eutrophication. A sudden increase in algae can deplete the water of oxygen, damaging the aquatic environment and killing fish.

In conjunction with an aeration system, feeding your dam with Eco-safe biological pellets is the key to winning the battle of the doo-doos.

If there are ducks in your dam

Implementing the use of a product called Biostim Pellets is the first step to take. You throw them in to the water and they come to life, literally.

Biostim Pellets eat poo. For real

 

From wee to weed

Ammonia levels in urine

Some years ago the city of Portland, Oregon disposed of 38 million gallons of treated drinking water after a 19-year-old with a full bladder and lack of regard, urinated into an open reservoir.

Why drain a dam in the name of one pee? It would have posed little health risks, yet we certainly don’t want urine in our drinking water, even in trace amounts. Outside of the body, urine is quickly colonized by bacteria that thrive on its rich cocktail of excretion products.

But what about waterbodies that don’t hold water for consumption? Would you mind swimming in water with a little bit of wee? If you fancy a splash in a dam it’s unavoidable, less in part due to humans but owed to aquatic life. Whilst fish don’t urinate in the traditional sense, they do excrete ammonia via their gills. Ammonia is the compound form of stinky Nitrogen / Hydrogen gas and a strong nutrient for the growth of aquatic weeds.

These weeds expand like there’s no tomorrow and untreated, you may end up with a situation like this:

Weed growth in a dam before treatment

How to minimise urine levels in your dam

The simplest, most cost-effective method of fighting the nasties pee can bring is utilising the properties of good bacteria. Liquid treatments are particularly good for this application as they will target excess nutrients suspended in the water column. We recommend Biostim Liquid, a non-chemical product that can be diluted and applied using the modest watering can.

After a biological treatment and aeration was installed

How do I find out more?

Biostim Liquid is a safe, biological product that utilises international innovation. An Aquatic Specialist at Water Quality Solutions can tailor your dosage rate and offer step by step advice.

To discover whether the pellet or liquid treatment option is right for you, call 1300 283 387.

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6 Comments
6 Comments
  • alicia wrote...

    what is a poo that duck do in troffs that make cows sick?

    • The Terrific Treatment Tardigrade wrote...

      Hi Alicia,
      The nutrients and bacteria in duck poo can support the growth of algae and other substances that are potentially harmful to your cows and other livestock.
      Best practice is to ensure your troughs are kept as clean as possible and do your best to deter ducks from hanging out in your animals’ water source.
      If you require assistance, feel free to fill out an enquiry form and one of our specialists will be able to help you work out the best solution for your situation.

  • Ant wrote...

    Hello.

    Very nice informative article.

    Please, would you be able to tell me where you reference that a ducks can poo on average 96 times per day ? Is that from a study.

    Kind regards,
    Ant

    • The Terrific Treatment Tardigrade wrote...

      Hi Ant,

      It’s been noted for years that ducks poo this often. One poop every fifteen minutes (which is what domestic ducks do according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and this article I’ve found for you) equals an average of 96. The article is quite timely as well given that we’ve just had Easter.

      Academia often lives behind paywalls but you’re welcome to do your own further research.

      Have a wonderful day and please do not hesitate to get in touch if you require any assistance with your water quality.

  • Terry wrote...

    Are ducks good for dams.

    • The Terrific Treatment Tardigrade wrote...

      Hi Terry,

      Whether ducks are “good” will come down to your personal preference and what protection you have in place for your water quality.

      They’re certainly lovely to look at but they do deposit quite a lot of excess nutrient (and in some cases disease) into your water so you need to be careful.

      If you have a quality dam aerator and regularly dose with biological treatments your dam ducks should be fine but we would still recommend monitoring the situation.

      If you’d like to chat about this further please call us on 1300 283 387 or fill out a contact form.

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