Schwanenweiher pond, Landau 

Odour pollution, sludge formation, oxygen depletion, threat of fish die-off 

Project highlights

Rapid halting of an acute fish die-off  
Reduction of the sludge layer by an average of 30 cm  
Reduction of odour pollution 

The starting point

Rapid solution required to prevent fish die-off and odour  

Home to many waterfowl, ponds can be particularly susceptible to algae growth, sludge formation, oxygen depletion and fish die-off. The reason? Feeding the birds, while well-intentioned, causes a greatly increased intake of phosphate and – in addition to waste, leaves and plant residue – leads to more and more organic matter being deposited on the bottom of the pond. Nearby residents, not to mention the local press, are very sensitive to such issues affecting their ponds, meaning that municipal administrators and their policies quickly come under fire. This was the case in the Palatinate town of Landau: In the Schwanenweiher pond in Ostpark – a small park east of the town centre – a foul odour and the beginnings of a fish die-off were noticed.  

Quick action required from the town council

The total depth of the pond was only one metre, yet the sludge in the pond had already reached an average depth of 55 cm. This meant that more than half of the precious water volume was no longer available. The evaporation losses from the approximately one-hectare pond are offset by a fresh water inlet, which renews the total amount of water once over the course of a year. However, this inlet is very rich in phosphates, which further reduced the water quality. The increasingly poor water quality could be clearly seen and smelt. The local press started to take notice when dead fish were occasionally seen floating on the surface. Action had to be taken quickly – there was no alternative. Ralf Bohde from the town's environment office described the goal succinctly: "Remove the sludge and improve the quality of the water." 

The solution

Innovative blend of minerals instead of excavators  

The first priority was to remove the sludge. Dredging the pond seemed unavoidable, but the costs would have gone into six figures, in addition to further six-figure costs for the disposal of organic material. But then the responsible parties came across an innovative and quick alternative, which also happened to be 80- to 90-percent cheaper: OASE water therapy with SchlixX Plus. The mineral-rich powder with an oxygen source and highly active microorganisms binds phosphate from the sediment, thus preventing the formation of algae. The microorganisms also significantly reduce organic sludge. A tonne of SchlixX Plus was added into the Schwanenweiher pond from a small rowing boat.  

Oxygen crisis resolved overnight 

The active ingredient release of SchlixX Plus is usually scheduled to take place over eight to twelve weeks – however, this was not the case with the Schwanenweiher pond, as it was on the brink of becoming a dead zone. The eutrophication process was already too advanced: A few days after use, the weather became cooler and darker after a heat wave. While sunlight penetrates the pond, its algae perform photosynthesis and supply oxygen. However, a lack of light stops this process, leading plants to use up the remaining oxygen. Consequently, the onset of darkness and the associated increase in oxygen consumption by algae had an unfortunate impact on the Schwanenweiher pond: Several hundred fish perished overnight due to lack of oxygen. OASE PeriDox was immediately used as an acute measure, to great success: The oxygen content in the water quickly increased, successfully preventing the water from becoming a dead zone. 

The successful results

Mass fish die-off prevented  

Of an estimated 150,000 to 250,000 fish in the Schwanenweiher pond, the application of PeriDox kept the deaths down to just a few hundred. The follow-up measures a few months later resulted in a 55-percent reduction in sludge. The remaining sludge is no longer black and foul-smelling, but has a healthier, brighter colour and an earthy smell.  

Recreational value secured for the future 

The critical state of Landau's Schwanenweiher pond and the beginning of fish die-off had attracted a lot of attention in the local press and in municipal politics. OASE's innovative water technology solutions have enabled the town's council and environment office to counter the alarming state of the Schwanenweiher pond quickly and cost-effectively, ensuring that the pond can continue to serve as a place of recreation for residents for years to come. Its fish stocks and water values remain stable to this day.  

Project fact sheet

Project nameSchwanenweiher
City/region/areaLandau in the Palatinate region, state of Rhineland-Palatinate
Type of waterMunicipal pond
Type and size1 hectare
ProblemFoul odour, oxygen depletion, sludge formation, fish die-off  
Product appliedSchlixX® Plus, PeriDox®
Period and type of application23/08/2017 and 27/08/2017
Result of the applicationSludge reduced on average by 30 cm, fish die-off prevented, oxygen content optimised and stabilised and odour pollution reduced

You would also like to implement a project like this?

Contact our consultants