Alken-Murray logo header, how to survey a lake pond or reservoir for treatment with Alken Clear-Flo 1000 line probiotic bioremediation products


 System Diagnostic Forms

Arrange a visual inspection of the site to assess the physical layout and condition of the body of water. Determine if there is a daily inflow of water, such as from a spring or creek, and if there is a daily outflow. If the outflow is less than 5-10% daily, then treatment will be accomplished much sooner, since the wash-through loss of Alken Clear-Flo® will be small. If there is virtually no flow in and out of the lake/pond, aeration equipment may be recommended, to maintain the necessary oxygen level for fish to survive. Aeration of the pond will also provide more even product distribution of treatment.
Test pH and dissolved oxygen ON-SITE, whenever possible, as these variables may change during transit time to your home laboratory, due to biological activities in the sample container. Refer to the various product bulletins to begin selecting a product that can perform in the pH range of the target lake/pond. If the pH is outside the working range for all Clear-Flo ® products, Alken-Murray staff may prescribe chemicals, with dosage determined by titration, to adjust the pH to a satisfactory range. In most circumstances where algae and fish are both growing, the pH will be within the required range of at least one product. Other on-site tests should be performed using aquaculture test kits from  Chemetrics,  La Motte , or Hach etc., which contain apparatus for accurately conducting the following critical test procedures:  

  • Alkalinity
  • Ammonia Nitrogen
  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Chloride
  • Dissolved oxygen (measured at noon & before dawn)
  • Hardness
  • Nitrite
  • Nitrate
  • pH
  • Temperature

See Interpreting Water Analysis Test Results for more information on the tests above.

Determine if the water body receives run-off from a hillside. It is possible that the hillside may be a hayfield or pasture. If so, the owner may fertilize it periodically and of course, if it is used as a pasture, there will be fecal matter and urine discharges in the soil. These nutrients will eventually find their way into the water, following a rain. At this point, find out if the owner feeds the fish, as this will be an added source of nutrients.
Are there waterfowl such as geese, swans, ducks, and other birds which discharge fecal matter and urine into the water? This also provides nutrients for algae growth.
Has there been an outbreak of aquatic disease? If so, ask what disease, how recently it occurred and what treatments (antibiotics, saline solution, etc.) were used.
What has the owner done in the past to reduce algae? If there is any suspicion of chemicals, such as biocides or others, find out how long since the last application. Ask if pesticides are used on the property or possibly on adjoining property which might find their way into the water. How about hydrocarbon spills, leaks? Other factory effluent? If the answer is yes, send a copy of the test results to Valerie or Claudia and allow our cumulative experience to guide your prescription.
 If your visual inspection or interview with the pond/lake owner leads you to suspect various contaminants, Alken-Murray staff may request the results of one or more of the following tests before a prescription is endorsed.

  • BOD
  • COD
  • Chlorine (free & total)
  • Copper
  • Cyanide
  • Detergents
  • Fats, Oils and Grease
  • Hydrocarbons
  • Iron
  • Lead
  • Mercury
  • Pesticides
  • Phosphate
  • Phenol
  • Silica
  • Sulfide
  • Sulfite
  • Tributyl Tin

See See Interpreting Additional Water Analysis Test Results for more information on the tests above.


In many parts of the world, there is a cold season and a warm season. Bacterial activity slows down in winter time. It does take place, but at a slower pace. The cold-weather active Alken Clear-Flo® 1001 is the only product capable of performing adequately when applied in the winter. In year-round warm weather climates, it is usually possible to begin treatment, at any time, with any of the Alken Clear-Flo® 1000 line products.
When treating lakes, ponds, and reservoirs, consider how much time is available for warm weather clean-up. To determine this, consider how long the water will be at least 50 degrees F. Surface water may be several degrees colder in the fall or winter than water at a depth of 3-5 feet, which is the water temperature to consider in your calculations. Although early results should begin to show in 1-3 weeks, a period of 6-8 weeks is necessary for average NATURAL clean-up of algae. Maintenance treatments should continue throughout the algae season with slightly higher dosages after each heavy rain, when run-off may bring outside nutrients into the water. 
If filamentous organisms, such as Cyanobacteria, are a significant problem, read our article Managing Cyanobacteria to understand how this difficult problem has been solved by the application of Alken Clear-Flo® 1000 line formulas with CF Supplement C.
If you are not sure how to identify the aquatic weeds, plants and algae, see the University of Georgia, Extension Agriculture website.


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