Lake Management Costs Property Maintenance
Many people who move from urban areas into semi suburban, or semi rural areas, buy properties which include elements with which they are unfamiliar. The cost for lake management can be a little surprising, but the cost of not managing a lake can be much higher!
Large pasture like lands which once served as grazing areas for cattle, have now become back yards. Stock tanks, or ponds once used for watering cattle and other livestock have now become recreational fishing lakes or ponds. In many cases, the new owners realize that they do not posses the information, or the equipment needed to maintain such amenities.
Mowing large areas repeatedly can become very expensive very quickly, but there are mowing alternatives which can help.
Lake management cost considerations
Ponds and lakes can present a somewhat different set of problems. Lake maintenance, like pasture maintenance can get a little expensive. Potential property owners should take this into consideration before buying. In most cases, maintaining an acre of water, will cost as much to maintain as an acre of lawn, and such costs should be considered in the overall package.
What are these issues?
It would be a mistake to think that a lake or pond will take care of itself. It is a living organism teaming with living things, which will tend to get out of balance from time to time. Some things will grow there which might be alright if it were a body of water setting in the middle of nowhere, but not in your back yard. Getting, and then maintaining balance is your goal.
Aquatic weed control and lake management
Aquatic weed control will be the primary concern. Without it, the lake will become overgrown with vegetation, and all sorts of undesirable wildlife, including insects and rodents. Controlling aquatic weeds with herbicides, mechanical controls, or biological controls can be difficult and costly. Preventing their return through controlling water quality and water depth is the best alternative.
One of the most important elements related to aquatic weed control, and lake management in general, is water quality. This both effects, and is effected by lake weeds. Maintaining proper pH and proper fertility helps to bring the cycle into balance. This involves testing the water, in most cases, correcting the pH will include the use of lime, fertilizing the pond or lake, or, if excess fertility is the problem, creating a vegetative buffer, or barrier to run off containing high levels of nutrients. The cost for this can be substantial.
Water depth is another consideration related directly to controlling aquatic weeds. Weeds tend to occur in shallow water, and raising the water level, or dredging can be expensive.
If the pond or lake is to be used for fishing, the cost for preparation and stocking should be taken into account. The same is true with other recreational activities, docks, boat houses, and other additions may be needed.
Lake maintenance costs
At this time, and in this location, the cost of caring for an acre of lawn per year is estimated by various state agencies as about $2,600.00 per year on average. Our experience has been that this is similar to the cost of maintaining an acre of water, although there are occasional spikes in activity which will raise the cost a bit. This should help those who might be in the process of considering a property with a lake or pond, or those already in possession of such properties to count the cost of lake maintenance in the overall property maintenance cost.