~ by Bob Volpe ~
Since the completion of Woodland Park’s Memorial Park renovation project in May of 2017, the pond has been the crown jewel of the effort.
The pond features three fountains and is stocked with rainbow trout for families who enjoy fishing. Viewed from the north end of the park, the pond provides a beautiful photogenic foreground to Pikes Peak in the distance.
Lately, however, the pond is being overcome by green slimy algae. When the issue became an object of discussion on social media, the city responded quickly to the problem.
When contacted by TMJ News, Parks and Recreation Director Cindy Keating said, “The City is aware of the pond situation and is in the process of trouble shooting the issue. We appreciate the community concerns, please know we are working on a solution.”
The following day TMJ News received a response from Interim City Manager/City Clerk Suzanne Leclercq who made the following statement, “The city crews spent the morning removing all of the algae alongside the pond. The PH was tested and tomorrow 10 inches of water will be added to the pond. We will also be adjusting the orientation of the fountains to help circulate the water in the pond better! Water was low and the pollen was not helping the PH levels either.”
The issue garnered a lot of attention on social media as the story unfolded. A number of residents aired concerns regarding the situation with the pond on key local social media sites. The initial poster stated he believed the pumps that cycle the water and operate the fountains are not supplying enough water circulation to keep the pond scum at bay. He wrote, “That pump should pump 1000’s of galloon’s of water hourly and it would be lucky do pump 100 in an hour right now. This is why there is so much algae, lack of water movement?”
The post garnered several comments from concerned citizens. One wrote, “If I had to guess, I would assume it is city of Woodland Park. They have a parks and recreation department, so you may want to give them a call.” Another poster wrote, “I noticed that last week too. The water is super low, it smells awful, and there are tons of dead fish.”
A follow-up inquiry by TMJ News did not detect any dead fish, but the algae surrounding the pond extended several feet out from shore. A test of the water temperature at the time concluded that the the mercury was slated at 64 degrees at a depth of 4 feet. Typically, temperatures over 70 degrees can be fatal to rainbow trout.
Another citizen, who has 30 years of experience with the Denver Water Board, wrote, “Aeration is good for algae but the heat, photosynthesis and shallow water is causing most of the algae. A little secret is to throw some copper sulfate out there a couple times a year to control it without hurting the fish.” She further suggested the city hire some youngsters with rakes to skim the algae growing close to the shore.
After some further conversation, she wrote, “This is a tough problem, without fresh water coming in, this will continue to form in such shallow waters. Sorry, but with the conditions this is an unsolvable
With the algae issue solved, at least for the time being, another issue arose. It seems the pump that feeds the wading stream that empties into the pond is clogged so badly that only a tiny trickle of water flows into the pond. As of press time, the city was still looking into this complaint.
TMJ News will provide further updates on the situation with the pond at Memorial Park. Check our printed issue every Tuesday, available at more than 200 locations in the area, or visit us at mountainjackpot.com, or mountain jackpot facebook.