To the weekend golfer, a water feature on the course means a strategic challenge. Being a well-placed obstacle is one of many functions of a golf course pond. Water-bodies are often tied to a course’s drainage and irrigation system. The healthier your ponds are, the healthier the overall water system will be.
Adequate oxygenation through aeration is the foundation of a thriving pond. If you value the ambiance of a clear, algae-free pond, you may benefit from this discussion on the three general categories of pond aerators and fountains.
Fountains are the most popular aeration systems for golf courses. The aesthetic beauty of the spray patterns is an asset to most any setting, and the mist created by the fountain can provide cooling in the immediate environment. The oxygenated water droplets that fall into the pond provide dissolved oxygen, which helps prevent algae overgrowth and other aquatic imbalances. Fountain aerators generally float on the surface and spray water, so ponds less than 10 feet deep may benefit the most.
Known as diffusion aerators, bubblers generally sit at the bottom of the pond, sending bubbles up to the surface. Bubblers are nearly silent, which is a distinct advantage for aerating golf course ponds that are near greens or in other settings where quiet might be preferred by golfers.
These pond aerators are the noisiest and the most vigorous water circulators. They are also very effective oxygenators. They churn surface water, causing large quantities of air and water to mix. Since it is a surface system, this type of aerator works best for smaller ponds, though multiple units may be used for larger surface areas.
Without oxygenation, toxic algae can flourish in the surface layers of your pond. Adequately oxygenated water supports the vitality of the fish, wildlife and the entire ecosystem of a water-body. Each aeration method has value based on the use and location of the pond. Choosing the right approach will help you achieve both the functional and the aesthetic goals that will have your patrons wanting to return.