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Year 3 for pond management works in East St. Paul

Posted: July 10, 2019

Year 3 for pond management works in East St. Paul

The pond in Eagle Creek

The RM of East St. Paul started a pond management program two summers ago in an effort to improve the water quality in the municipality’s various ponds, which, besides looking nice and serving as a home for various species of birds and aquatic
animals, provide storm water management.
This summer, the RM’s Climate Change Adaptation Coordinator Leanne Shewchuk, along with summer student Tianna Mighty, will be collecting water samples from the ponds to compile data that will provide a baseline for them to monitor pond conditions in the future and help identify pathways for nutrients to enter the ponds.
"Identifying problem areas will give us a better idea on how to get the ponds back to a healthier state,” Shewchuk said.
"This information will be shared with our Operations team and used to determine the most effective pond treatment plan.
”In recent years the ponds have been showing signs of stress and algae growth in some of them is well beyond normal for similar natural wetlands, due to chemical imbalances.
Too many nutrients, primarily phosphorus and nitrogen, can be caused by a variety of things, some natural, but often it’s humans who contribute.
There are little things you can do that will aid in the ponds’ recovery, such as picking up any garbage or litter you may come across, but one of the biggest changes you can make to improve the condition of the ponds is in how you care for your lawn and garden.
Fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides contribute greatly to nutrient loading. When you use them on your lawn and garden and it rains, they are carried by runoff into storm drains and to the ponds.
You can lower your lawn care product application, or switch to an alternative method such as fertilizing your lawn by topdressing with compost.You can also get advice from a lawn care expert and if you do use products, schedule your application times so they don’t coincide with heavy rain events.
To further help with runoff, leave any native vegetation near the pond paths alone, and consider leaving an area of natural vegetation and grasses on your property.
This will deter geese, and the added vegetation protects the pond filtering sediments, nutrients and chemicals from surface runoff, decreasing flooding and stabilizing pond banks.
Later this summer, the RM will be hosting a pond health info session for residents. Details will be provided when the date and location have been confirmed. In the meantime, the RM has produced a Protect our Ponds brochure which, will be mailed out in July. Go to eaststpaul.com to view it now.
"If we all make a conscious effort, we can make a big difference in the health of our ponds,” Shewchuk said.


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