Blame it on the doodie
How ducks contribute to algae growth
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.
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.
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:
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.