Updated August 7, 2006
Purdue Extension

For questions regarding the content of this site contact Brent Ladd. For information on the Purdue Extension Water Quality Program contact
Jane Frankenberger, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Purdue University
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Purdue Extension Water Quality Home

Ponds and Water Quality

In addition to beautifying the landscape, ponds provide important ecosystem services such as storm water management, habitat for aquatic life, and ecosystem health and stability. Ponds reduce storm water runoff problems by catching and slowing the movement of storm water. They help filter and clean rainfall and runoff water, and increase ground water aquifer recharge. Ponds in the landscape provide for diverse flora and fauna, as well as many recreational opportunities including fishing, swimming, boating, and hunting.

Ponds and mosquitoes
, Pond management, Pond design and construction.

Ponds and mosquitoes
The Purdue Extension publication titled "Management of Ponds, Wetlands, and Other Water Reservoirs to Minimize Mosquitoes" describes why healthy ponds and wetlands are not a breeding place for mosquitoes that carry West Nile virus. It also discusses management actions to take to minimize mosquitoes.
[html] [pdf] (8 pages)

Pond management
Proper pond management can prevent problems and ensure a healthy functioning pond habitat. Extension pond management links provided by Cornell University provide information on getting started, pond management, managing fish, algae, and aquatic plants, and regulatory information from Extension sources across the US.

Small backyard and ornamental ponds are discussed in this Alabama Extension publication: Ornamental Garden Pools

Aquatic Plant Management
Purdue Extension provides the following publications for information about aquatic plant management (PDF versions only).

Aquatic Plant Management (pdf, 20 pages) describes how to identify and manage aquatic vegetation.

Barley Straw for Algae Control (pdf, 8 pages) describes research on the success of barely in controlling algae, its use as an algaecide, and an illustrated guide to applying the straw.

Control of Duckweed and Watermeal (pdf, 5 pages) describes these plants and how to control them.

Fact Sheet on Toxic Blue-green Algae (pdf, 2 pages) provides the facts on this new important water quality concern.

Pond design and construction
Design, site placement, and construction are critical to the long term quality of a pond, maintenance issues, and safety of family and community. The following links provide detailed information on these aspects of ponds.

Ponds - Planning, Design, and Construction from the USDA (pdf, 1.8 MB) This 96 page handbook provides complete information on pond design and construction for landowners, engineers, and contractors.

Backyard and Garden Ponds from Alabama Extension