Summer and fall are the prime seasons for algae growth within retention ponds. During this time of year the warmer weather causes the water temperature within the ponds to rise significantly. Combined with longer days (more hours of sunlight) this creates prime conditions for algae growth. All of this said; the largest factor for promoting algae growth within a retention pond is fertilizer runoff from residential lawns and common areas. Excess fertilizer applied to landscaping within the pond’s retention basin gets washed into the ponds and is captured there. Ironically, this is one of the primary functions of a retention pond; filtering pollutants before they are discharged into streams, lakes and wetlands. Fertilizer runoff has become such a problem in Central Florida that Brevard County has begun to strictly regulate the types, amounts and frequency of fertilizer applications in an attempt to reduce algae blooms within the Indian River. Orange County, as well as many other municipalities within the region, are beginning to discuss similar measures.
In the case of Norris Village: we have been treating a hydrilla infestation within the lake. As you know, hydrilla is a highly invasive, exotic weed that has become a serious problem throughout the State. We have restocked the pond with grass carp, which do an excellent job at controlling hydrilla growth, but treatments are still necessary throughout this summer and fall until the grass carp can get a handle on the problem completely. While we do our best to limit the scale of algae blooms that may develop following treatment, some algae growth will occur as a result of the hydrilla treatments. We expect this situation to improve considerably by this time next year. Until then we will continue to do our best in providing responsible management of the hydrilla while attempting to minimize the resultant algae growth.