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THE 'GREENER' SIDE OF PONDS

Seven Environmental Benefits of Owning a Pond

Most homeowners create a pond to add beauty to their yards or to increase their home's living space by adding an outdoor living room around the water garden. Ponds create a solace from the world and a haven for prized Koi and other wildlife. However, few realize the countless environmental benefits to maintaining a pond or water garden.

More and more Americans are becoming environmentally conscious and looking for ways to conserve energy around their homes. By replacing some or all of your lawn with a pond, you can conserve energy, save money, support the environment and reduce personal stress! TetraPond's Seven Environmental Benefits of Owning a Pond:
  1. Lawns require watering whereas ponds can be re-filled with rainwater.
  2. Ponds are a self-sustaining cycle of hydration that keeps plants alive without having to water them.
  3. Less mowing means less use of gas and carbon monoxide emissions.
  4. Pesticides and fertilizers for the lawn can be harmful, creating run-off that ends up in our water supply.
  5. Sludge collected by your pond filter can be used as a nutrient-rich fertilizer for your lawn and garden.
  6. Ponds attract and create a haven for beautiful fish, dragonflies, frogs and birds, adding to wildlife propagation.
  7. Water gardens influence young people to help create a better future for the planet.
Number 1: Water conservation: lawns require watering whereas ponds can be re-filled with rainwater.
With spring underway and summer quickly approaching, much of the country is looking at a season of lower than normal rainfall and depleted reservoirs. Therefore, more and more homeowners are rethinking their lawns. This brings us to our first environmental benefit of owning a pond.

Maintaining a lush lawn requires regular watering; otherwise, it can quickly lose its luster and become burnt out. Therefore, homeowners spend countless hours and thousands of gallons of water each year watering their lawns. Regular lawn watering uses 750-1,500 gallons of water each month. (Source: Water Conservation Tips-www.monolake.org.)

Conversely, once a pond is initially filled, pond owners will only need to 'top off' the pond occasionally. If you live in a part of the country that experiences a lower than normal season of rainfall, consider positioning drain pipes from your roof top to empty directly into the pond, allowing the pond to act as a natural reservoir.

Number 2: Ponds are a self-sustaining cycle of hydration that keeps plants alive without having to water them.
Throughout the year, most homeowners are looking for ways to cut costs in their utility bills. But lowering the water bill can mean a less than lush yard. With hotter than usual temperatures in the summer months across the country, many are trying to find a happy medium between lowering costs, conserving water and maintaining a beautiful garden. To accomplish all three, consider TetraPond's second environmental benefit of owning a pond.

For those interested in conserving water, ponds and water gardens are the best landscaping option. Because shrubs, flowers and plants based in soil require constant watering, a household's water consumption can easily increase dramatically. Alternatively, through rainfall, ponds and water gardens literally water themselves, helping to save water. Additionally, pond water can be used to water other plants in the garden, therefore conserving water by eliminating the use of the garden hose. Simply dip a watering can into the pond to care for other plants and trees throughout the yard.

Number 3: Less mowing means less use of gas and reduced carbon monoxide emissions.
Here are a few more reasons for dad to take some time off from mowing, and instead, build a water garden or pond.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), each weekend, about 54 million Americans mow their lawns, using 800 million gallons of gas per year and producing tons of air pollutants.

Garden equipment engines emit high levels of carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides, producing up to 5% of the nation's air pollution and a good deal more in metropolitan areas. A traditional gas-powered lawn mower produces as much air pollution as 43 new cars, each being driven 12,000 miles. Lastly, over 17 million gallons of gas are spilled each year refueling lawn and garden equipment, more oil than was spilled by the Exxon Valdez in the Gulf of Alaska. This adds to groundwater contamination and smog. Source: Environmental Protection Agency

Number 4: Pesticides and fertilizers for the lawn can be harmful, creating run-off that ends up in our water supply.
Our fourth environmental benefit of adding a pond or water garden to your yard can be good for your family's health, literally.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that only 35 percent of lawn fertilizers applied ever reach the grass plant; the remainder ends up in our air or seeps into groundwater. During a typical year in neighborhoods across the country, over 102 million pounds of toxic pesticides are applied in pursuit of a perfect lawn and garden. Commonly used lawn pesticides can cause illness by entering our drinking water through run-off. Source: The National Coalition for Pesticide-Free Lawns

Number 5: Sludge collected by your pond filter can be used as a nutrient-rich fertilizer for your lawn and garden.
Our fifth environmental benefit of adding a pond or water garden to your yard will save you money on purchasing costly fertilizer for your plants, trees and flowers.

Pond sludge can contain nutrients from fish droppings, excess fish food, and decaying leaves. Sludge, a nutrient-rich natural fertilizer, can be placed around the bottom of a tree, plant or shrub to aid in growth. It is an all-natural way to feed your landscape!

Number 6: Ponds attract and create a haven for beautiful fish, dragonflies, frogs and birds, adding to wildlife propagation.
Our sixth environmental benefit of adding a pond or water garden to your yard is that it adds beauty to your yard while supporting the indigenous wildlife in your neighborhood.

For years, pond owners have been adding beautiful fish (such as Koi and goldfish) to their pond for the enjoyment and relaxation of observing. In addition to fish, ponds and water gardens attract other creatures, providing a sanctuary for breeding. Frogs, especially, gather at the pond as it provides a shelter as they reproduce in the spring and summer. Baby frogs and toads (known as tadpoles) are generally a desirable pond inhabitant for their algae-eating habits. Adult toads are also beneficial to the garden for their aid in controlling insects.

Number 7: Water gardens influence young people to help create a better future for the planet.
Our seventh environmental benefit of adding a pond or water garden to your yard affects many generations to come!

Including children in the building of a water garden or pond helps them gain an interest in science and environmental issues. Water gardens are complete ecosystems, which educate children on how natural systems work and can influence them to help create a better planet. Getting kids involved and thinking about nature early in life encourages them to continue their interest in the environment throughout adulthood. Planning, building and maintaining a pond or water garden also helps children understand the responsibility we all have for caring for our environment.