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A Short Guide to Lake and Pond Muck

Most lakes and ponds have a little bit of muck, but for some folks there is enough to create a real problem. Muck can be frustrating. It looks bad, smells bad and it’s annoying to step in.

What is Muck? 

Muck is composed of decaying plant matter and animal waste. In some lakes and ponds, there may just be patches or a thin layer, but in others there may be enough to really get annoying. Many folks understandably want to get rid of the muck as quickly as possible, since it can be thick, sticky and emit a foul odor. It can also be the perfect home for leeches, so for lake and pond owners who want to be able to swim or wade in their pond, this is a real issue. The smell can also make it difficult to enjoy your pond, and if it is close enough to your house, it can become especially unpleasant. So what can be done to eliminate the ick?

How to Remove Muck

There are a few ways to remove muck, one of which is through the use of beneficial bacteria. There are already some types of beneficial bacteria at the bottom of most lakes and ponds, but it may not be enough to combat the problem. Bacteria can be added to a  pond to help get rid of the muck. But how does that work?

Because muck is made up of decomposing organic matter, it is an ideal food source for bacteria. The bacteria speed up the decomposition process, leaving a cleaner and clearer water bed behind. And don’t worry, as the food source begins to disappear, the bacteria slow down reproduction, and they eventually begin to disappear along with the muck.

The other muck solution is aeration, and it often goes hand-in-hand with beneficial bacteria. Aeration stirs up and oxygenates the water. Beneficial bacteria are aerobic, meaning that they need oxygen to survive, so especially in ponds with stagnant water this can be extremely useful. Since aeration gets the water moving, it can help keep muck from settling, and also make your water much less habitable to mosquitos.

The Benefit of Muck

As frustrating as muck can be for some, it is important to note that in moderation, muck can have a positive role to play in the ecosystem of your pond. Muck is extremely high in nutrients and can be an excellent source of food for the plant life in your lake or pond, if that is something that you want to encourage.

Although the decision to eliminate muck is the right way to go for many, it is, as always, important to consider your personal vision for your pond. If you want a more natural pond with lots of vegetation, as long as the smell doesn’t bother you, there isn’t much of a need to remove the muck. On the other hand, if you want to be able to swim in your pond, and are happy with a little less vegetation (or if the smell is noticeable) you will probably want to get rid of it as quickly as you can. And keep in mind that a problem like muck is far more easily solved as soon as you notice it. Removal takes time, so the more that you allow to accumulate, the longer it will take to eliminate.

If you have any questions about the products, or to discuss whether or not muck removal is right for you, you can call us toll free at (877) 389-2514, or email us at