Should I Dredge My Pond?

It’s a question many new pond owners ask: “Should I dredge my pond?” Whether you’re overseeing a golf course, homeowners’ association, local government or other organization, it’s essential to know whether your facility’s pond requires dredging, since waiting only increases the risk of it degrading into a swamp.


Pond dredging is the process of removing sediment with a portable dredge, which allows the operator to collect the sediment and transport it to another location. Dredging a pond can alleviate or prevent a variety of issues, which is why it’s such a crucial maintenance step for properties with a pond.

Reasons You Should Dredge your Pond

While some transitions can happen without you noticing, changes in waterways are quite noticeable. Often, many people look into a dredge for their pond after seeing a difference in their pond’s appearance.

So what should you be searching for when it comes to your pond? Signs that you should dredge your pond include:

  • Decrease in depth and width: One of the most significant symptoms of waterholes in need of dredging is shrinkage. Many become shallower as sediment, trash and other debris build up on the bottom of them. Over time, many will also decrease in width, which is why they can become swamps without timely intervention.
  • Increase in odor and algae: While aeration often remedies less-than-desirable smells as well as excess algae, dredging tends to be used in coordination with an aerator. If a previous owner neglected your pond, you would likely use a dredge for your pond and then install an aerator for long-term management.
  • Reduction in aquatic wildlife: Another sign you should dredge your pond is a lack of marine wildlife and an excess amount of plant life. Eutrophication, or excess nutrients in the water due to runoff, causes an imbalance between plants and wildlife. That can lead to oxygen deprivation, which causes the death of aquatic wildlife.

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If you notice these signs, especially a depth change, dredging is an option to consider.

Infographic on when you should dredge your pond and why your should dredge a pond

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Benefits of Dredging Your Pond

Choosing to dredge your pond offers several benefits, including:

  • Improved visual appearance of waters
  • Increased width and depth
  • Raised oxygen levels for wildlife

Overall, dredging ensures your pond stays healthy and sustainable by helping to maintain its local ecosystem.

How to Dredge A Pond Yourself

Your process for dredging your pond depends on a few factors, such as its condition. If your pond’s almost a swamp, for example, you will drain it before beginning the dredging process. Fuller ponds, however, may be dredged without emptying first. Determining how much to dredge a pond is also essential in selecting the right equipment and planning the project effectively.

The process for pond dredging includes:

  1. Creating a channel for draining your pond, if called for.
  2. Using an appropriate-sized dredge boat to remove the built-up sediment layers.
  3. Refilling the pond via the constructed channel or allowing it to refill through rainwater.

While some organizations opt to use hand dredges, dredge boats are more powerful and reliable, not to mention safer.

dredging a pond

Learn More About Dredges for Ponds

At GeoForm International, we offer more than 20 years of experience in dredging. All our dredges, which include small pond dredges like the Dino 6, are built with high-quality materials in the U.S. to deliver a long-lasting piece of equipment for maintaining your waterways. Learn more about our pond dredging equipment and cutter suction dredges by contacting us today!

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