Pond and Lake Erosion Services - Causes, Solutions, Types, and Controlling It

Pond and Lake Erosion Services - Causes, Solutions, Types, and Controlling It

While natural factors can contribute to shoreline erosion, it is a process formed by both natural and human activities. The shore of a lake or pond may erode over time due to pressures from environmental sources ranging from wind and rain to wildlife. But we only accelerate that erosion through improperly planned landscaping and drainage, recreational boating, and excessive urban development.

Below you’ll find a few of the more common factors that can contribute to erosion:

Wave Action: One of the primary causes of erosion, this is the cumulative result of years of waves and wake crashing into the shore, wearing away topsoil and vegetation and essentially fast-forwarding the entire process.

Heavy Rain and Stormwater Run-off: Heavy rain contributes to shoreline erosion in two ways. As heavy rains fall on the lake or pond itself, it increases the speed and volume of water hitting the shore and saturates the soil on the bank. This makes the soil of the shoreline heavier and more likely to slide into the water. As the rain falls elsewhere and makes its way to the water, it can pick up pollutants on the way. These pollutants can damage plants along the edge, whose roots help stabilize the shoreline.

Water Fluctuation: As seasons change, and as human activity impacts water levels, the shoreline can receive a one-two punch from high and low water levels. When the water level is low, more of the shoreline becomes exposed, subjecting it to wind and rain which can cause erosion. When the water level is high, it can inundate the surrounding soil, weakening its integrity.

Insufficient Plant Cover: Vegetation at the shore’s edge plays a vital role in fighting erosion, stabilizing the soil with its roots and slowing the flow of run-off into the lake or pond. A lack of well-rooted vegetation can play a significant role in erosion.

Irrigation: Much like heavy rain, irrigation practices surrounding a pond or lake can contribute to erosion in two different ways. When a lake or pond is used as an irrigation source for surrounding agriculture can lower water levels, exposing the shoreline to erosion. When that irrigated water makes its way back as run-off, it can chip away at the bank as it carries soil with it. This is to say nothing of the damage caused by the kind of heavy equipment necessary to create the irrigation system in the first place.

Pond and Lake Erosion Services - Causes, Solutions, Types, and Controlling It

Wildlife: While human activity can contribute to erosion in a variety of ways, we are not alone in the animal kingdom. Local wildlife can impact the shoreline in a variety of ways. Animals that dig or build nests along the shoreline can chip away at its integrity, speeding its deterioration. Animals that graze in nearby fields can strip away vegetation holding soil together, both damaging the shore and speeding up nearby run-off. And finally, the combined traffic of all these animals on the soil can speed up compaction, damaging the bank’s integrity.

The cumulative effect of all these factors, natural and manmade, is a dramatic reshaping of the shoreline that only gets worse as time goes on. This erosion not only threatens the health of the lake or pond, contributing to cloudy, dirty or foul-smelling water, but it can also pose a danger to nearby structures. Homes, fences, pools and golf courses built near the shore can face severe damage if erosion is allowed to continue unchecked.

The Environmental Risks of Erosion

Erosion doesn’t just affect the shoreline. As the shoreline degrades, it allows for a greater volume of nutrient and phosphorous-rich soil to flow into the water. These nutrients, commonly used in landscaping and agricultural fertilizers, impact the water’s chemistry and lead to a process known as eutrophication.

Eutrophication impacts a water’s overall health in two ways:

  • Algae Blooms: Just as they promote plant growth on land, these excessive nutrients promote algae growth in the water. These algae blooms can choke off sunlight on aquatic animals and plants, as well as reduce the overall oxygen level. Some blooms can even be toxic, creating a hazard that goes far beyond the shores of your lake or pond.
  • Aquatic Weed Growth: While aquatic plants contribute to a pond or lake’s health by helping the water remain oxygenated, there is a fine balance that must be maintained. An excess of nutrients in the water can promote the growth of invasive or harmful weeds, which can compete with native vegetation, hamper reactional activities and disrupt the ecosystem.

¬†Another way that erosion can prove detrimental to a pond or lake’s health is through the excessive sedimentation it dumps into the water. By filling in the body of water, this sedimentation reduces depth which can impact aquatic life and contribute to further eutrophication. It can also make the water cloudier (called turbidity) which slows plant growth and harms fish populations that feed by sight. Finally, these sedimentary deposits can completely alter the boundaries of fish populations’ domain, causing undue stress and potentially displacing them.

These environmental hazards are considerable, and they are just part of the problem that erosion can cause. Over time, it can lead to the destruction of habitat and subsequent fish kills, increase the risk of flooding, make a lake or pond more vulnerable to pollution, increase landowner liability, and lead to complications with any regulatory bodies or municipalities.  

The Estate Management Services Difference

Pond and Lake Erosion Services - Causes, Solutions, Types, and Controlling It

Rather than simply treat the symptoms of shoreline erosion, Estate Management Services takes a holistic approach to your lake or pond, taking the entire ecosystem into account to create a sustainable long-term plan for your body of water’s health and stability. We begin by using your body of water’s natural processes to the fullest, adding vegetation along the shoreline from ornamental aquatic plants to grass and sedges that provide protection and fight erosion.

Other methods we utilize include the addition of durable mesh barriers that are anchored into the soil and integrate seamlessly into the natural shoreline, or the creation of a protective barrier made of riprap rock or a bulkhead of wood or concrete, each providing long-last environmentally friendly protection against erosion.

Combatting erosion is just one aspect of the comprehensive treatment program designed over 30 by Estate Management Service’s team of scientists who represent the industry’s foremost thought leaders. Backing that scientific acumen is a dedication to training our staff to the highest standards, a promise to empower you to make the best decisions regarding your pond or lake, and a commitment to providing exceptional support. We do more than manage your body of water. We ensure the greatest care is taken to protect the environment of your property and the community we all call home.

Schedule a free no-obligation inspection of your lake or pond today and discover what sets Estate Management Services apart.

Helpful Videos

Click Here To Browse Our Video Library.

Watch Our Videos

Ask Us A Question

Send Us Your Questions. It's Free!

Send My Question

Free Pond or Lake Site Visit

Schedule a Free Site Visit Today!

Send My Information