How to Maintain Golf Course Pond

How to Maintain Golf Course Pond

How to Maintain Your Golf Course Pond

Many or most golf courses include water hazards and/or retention ponds.  Ponds add an extra beauty and serenity to your golf course, providing both calm and anxiety to golfers. But golf course ponds need to be maintained so that they don’t become too shallow over time and require dredging. Also, aeration is necessary to avoid stagnation, mosquito breeding, malodorous environments, and severe algae blooms.

What is Aeration?

Aeration is the adding of oxygen to a pond. Ponds require oxygen, which aeration works to deliver. If there is not enough oxygen in the water, sludge builds up at the bottom, often requiring dredging, and when the sludge and muck break down through decomposition, oxygen in your pond is depleted, resulting in algae blooms.

Proper aeration provides a number of benefits:

  • Prevents Mosquito Breeding
  • Decreases Muck buildup at bottom of pond
  • Clarifies water
  • Prevents algae
  • Eliminates noxious odors


Golf course fountains and aerators greatly increase aeration to your pond.

Two Kinds of Aeration

Ponds can be aerated from the surface or from the bottom of the pond. As a rule of thumb, if your pond is less than seven feet deep, as most golf course ponds are, you should opt for surface aeration. If your pond is over seven feet deep, then you need sub-surface, or bottom aeration.

Types of Surface Aeration


 A Kasco Decorative fountain

There are three different kinds of surface aerators, each with its own pluses and minuses. Decorative fountains provide the least amount of aeration but the most versatile and dynamic displays. Typically, decorative fountain kits include multiple nozzles, which can easily be changed when you would like to change the display pattern for a while. Kasco decorative fountains are designed with both aesthetics and aeration in mind. Though they feature beautiful displays, they also have a very high rate of flow, thus providing much-needed oxygen to the water. Scott decorative fountains do not typically aerate as much as Kasco decorative fountains, but Scott fountains can reach great heights for those who seek very tall displays.

Aerating Fountains provide more aeration than a decorative fountain, as instead of pump impellers, they use propellers to pump up water from the depths of the pond. They don’t have nozzles, which restrict water flow, but use the pitch of the propeller to form a “V” pattern. Though the pattern is limited to the V-shape, these pond fountains aerate more than a decorative fountain.

kasco aerating fountain A Kasco aerating fountain at night

Surface Aerators concentrate on aeration and provide the most aeration of the three types of surface aeration. There is no display except for large bubbles.

kasco aerator A Kasco surface aerator


Sub-surface (bottom) Aerators

For ponds over seven feet of depth, aeration should come from the bottom of the pond. An air compressor is mounted at the shore and pushes air through tubing to diffuser(s) located at the bottom of the pond. These do not provide any display but rather bubbles rise from the bottom, providing maximum oxygen transfer and mixing of water. The pond surface remains calm.

bottom aeration using diffuser  A Kasco diffuser in action

Why We Prefer Kasco

Golf course ponds have challenges that many other water applications don’t. For one thing, and this is true especially at times of drought, the ponds are often shallow. After all, the main reasons for a pond on a golf course are to form a hazard for golfers and to beautify the surroundings. Great pond depths are not necessary.

Because it is so common that golf course fountains are shallow, especially during summer months when aeration is most necessary, we prefer Kasco because these fountain units do not require ponds to be very deep. A 1/2HP model, for instance, only requires a minimum depth of 15 inches! The 1 HP model requires a mere depth of 19 inches.

In addition, Kasco’s several engineers and biologists on staff have created fountains that produce incredibly high flow rates along with energy efficiency.

The reason high flow rates are important is that more aeration takes place.

Frequently Asked Questions 

How do I know what size pond fountain I need?

The size of the pond fountain you need depends on the size of your pond. For surface pond fountains and aerators, you will need to know length x width of your pond (surface acreage). For ponds deeper than 7 feet, you will need to know acre feet.

Aeration Capabilities of Decorative Fountains, Aerating Fountains, and Aerators

Kasco recommends:

Pond Size

Decorative Fountain

Aerating Fountain


½ acre

1 HP

¾ HP

½ HP

1 acre

2 HP

1 ½ HP

1 HP

2 acre

4 HP

3 HP

2 HP

3 acre

6 HP

4.5 HP

3 HP

5 acre

10 HP

7.5 HP

5 HP

 *These recommendations above are for Kasco units only. Different brands use different pump and nozzle combinations and these figures do not work for them!

You can use our pond size and electricity calculator to easily calculate pond size. 

Do I need a professional to install a surface aerator?

Usually, the answer is no. Kasco decorative pond fountains and aerating pond fountains come complete with a float, motor, bottom screen, control panel with timer, photocell and GFCI, and tether line. Kasco surface aerators are intended to be run 24 hours per day and do not require a control box. All of these units plug in to outdoor receptacle as long as they are 120v. For 220 volt, it is recommended an electrician or other skilled professional do the wiring.

Is it difficult to install a sub-surface (bottom) aerator?

Not typically. We do recommend that you purchase a Kasco housing unit for the compressor, unless you already have ventilated housing for a compressor on site. Weighted tubing runs from the compressor to the bottom of your pond, where it is attached to a diffuser to create the air bubbles.

Any Other Suggestions for Getting Rid of Bottom Muck?

Bottom muck presents a special challenge to golf courses because of the high cost of dredging. Besides using proper aeration to decrease muck, we suggest you add beneficial bacteria to eat away at it. We sell Kasco Macro-zyme bacteria for a low cost.

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