Muddy dams are usually the result of soil particles with the same charge of electrons (at microscopic level) repelling (bumping into) each other and remaining suspended in the water column. It’s possible that they could settle out on their own but this depends on a number of factors such as the surrounding watershed, water inlets, type of soil, depth, wind and wave action etc. Unfortunately in most cases the suspended soil particles don’t settle out themselves and need help through a process of coagulation and flocculation (more commonly referred to as floccing). In this process a product with an opposing electron charge is applied to the water where it binds to the soil particles making them sink to the bottom, clearing the water.
Floccing a dam is a long way from being an exact science and should be considered a process rather than just applying a product. This process should include assessing why it’s muddy in the first place, making adjustments to the dam or surrounding environment so it doesn’t muddy up again next time it rains, doing some jar tests to see if it will settle itself or what will be the best flocculant to use if it doesn’t settle, and then applying it in the manner that the specific product needs.
If you don’t follow the process you’re likely to waste time and money on products that either will never work with your soil type, will work but only if applied correctly or do work but only until the next rain because you’ve done nothing else to address the problem.
At Clearwater Lakes and Ponds our process of clearing muddy dams and clarifying water is to consult and investigate the reasons why the water is muddy and what can be done to stop it happening in the future. We will perform jar tests of your water in our lab to work out if it will settle on its own or if it requires a product to bind to the soil and determine the best product and approximate dose rates and then apply the product in an appropriate way.
We can help with the entire process of floccing a dam to remove the muddy look and clarify the water or, if you prefer to do some of the work yourself we can help with any of the steps along the way. The easiest way to start is using our $48 phone consultation with a lake management expert. This is an affordable way of getting the information you need and if you go on to use any of our products or services then you have the opportunity for the $48 fee to be refunded, meaning you get our expert advice at no charge.