Ocean Township has come up with a unique and experimental way to deal with removing organic debris, like leaves, from Fireman’s Pond in the Wanamassa section. Original plans called for the pond to be dredged.
“We are going to try an organic approach first. We are very interested to see how it works out,” Mayor Christopher Siciliano said.
Siciliano said township engineers were contacted by state environmental officials who suggested special pellets be tried out to deal with the problem. He said they are currently being used in another lake in Monmouth County.
“This product creates microbes that eat away at the organic debris,” he said.
After conditions at Fireman’s Pond, between Wickapecko and Lake drives, were analyzed, it was found that there are five to seven feet of decayed leaves in the water.
Siciliano said estimates to dredge that much organic material from the pond was from $750,000 to $1 million- much more than the township wants to spend.
“This is a new organic product, which is pellets that are added into the water, can eat up to two inches of organic material every month. The plan is to use it and see how it works,” he said.
The mayor said it costs about $850 a month for the pellets and that it will probably take about two years to see if a “good dent” is made to the organic material in the pond. He said the treatment, which will begin next month, has no adverse effect to aquatic life and that the pond will be examined early next year to look at the initial results.
Siciliano said that the pond has been unattended for years and that “the pellets are better than doing nothing.”
He said that nearby Lollipop Pond will also be analyzed, like Fireman’s Pond, and it may be decided to try the same experimental treatment there.