Ponds and Lakes Government Compliance and Fines

A pond or a lake on personal property can be a key feature of the land. It can add beauty to the grounds, and can be a major source of value for the property. These lakes and ponds are usually features that also help collect and manage stormwater. This can prevent floods and excess runoff from nearby roads.

Because a stagnant body of water can be a threat to public health, the government requires an inspection each year or every other year to make sure they are up to government and EPA standards.

Maintenance is required to ensure that the pond or lake is running smoothly.  Standing bodies of water have to be taken care of to remain effective and clean. The government can issue a citation for:

  • Not running smoothly, or filling properly.
  • An excess of debris.
  • Failing to meet specific governmental requirements.
  • Other general compliance issues.

These fines can be hefty, which means that it is almost always cheaper to simply stay on top of maintenance and meeting requirements set forth by the EPA.

Pond and Lake Health Surveys

Bathymetry surveys are one of the best ways to assess these bodies of water. This can help with a few key things:

  • Avoiding government fines by assessing what needs to be addressed.
  • Contesting a fine or the result of the government’s own assessment, essentially getting a second opinion.
  • Providing crucial information about the health of the body of water.
  • Creating a dredge schedule that will maintain the water’s health.
  • Learning what pesticides, algaecides, and other chemicals will be needed to maintain the appropriate water chemistry.

What is a Bathymetry Survey (Pond or Lake Survey)?

A bathymetry survey is an imaging survey that helps determine several things about the body of water through hydro-acoustic techniques. This produces maps that can tell key specifications and information about the makeup of the water.

This can reveal how much sediment is in the water, where it is, and how much pond dredging is needed. It can also determine the chemistry of the pond.

How is the Survey Conducted?

While the body of water will determine the survey’s specifics, there is a general process we follow.A boat or kayak moves slowly across the water with the surveying equipment mounted onboard. The employee will typically move in a grid pattern, covering about 10 acres in a given day.

What is a Bathymetry Report?

Simply put, the report is the interpreted and processed results of the survey. It consists of:

  • A contour map that shows the depth and how high the sediment is built.
  • A composition map that reveals what the sediments makeup is, including its thickness so that a reasonable timetable for dredging can be determined.
  • A thermal image that helps determine the amount of sediment and its type.
  • A capacity report that can tell the diminished capacity of the water, which is especially important as the government requires it to be withing a range (usually around 25-30%).

How Often is a Bathymetry Survey Needed?

Every customer and body of water will have different needs, but typically 5 year for a small pond or lake is a good rule of thumb. This will help landowners stay on top of sediment buildups as well as other problems that may arise.

Some retention ponds will have more rapid changes to the sediment levels due to consistent and heavy runoff. This can mean a survey is needed more often, approximately every year or two. Furthermore, major storms like hurricanes may cause huge changes to the water, which can mean that a new survey is required.

Estate Management Services can service these ponds and lakes and perform surveys as needed. We are experienced with bathymetry and can easily determine how best to approach the challenges of your property.Based out of Georgia, our company services states across the South including Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Mississippi, Kansas, Nebraska, and Missouri.

If you are interested in a free site visit for an in-depth waterway survey from Estate Management Services, please call 1-888-307-6637.

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