February 8, 2016

Zika virus and detention ponds…

Zika virus is the talk of every major news outlet and most recently the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta issued a travel advisory regarding the virus and travel to South America.  The common method for the Zika virus spreading is by the State bird of Georgia, the mosquito.  Yes, we know the state bird of Georgia is the Brown Thrasher not the mosquito but in many of Georgia’s backyards the mosquito is more common.  While Georgia has not been vastly impacted to date the virus and its spread is a concern.  Patients infected with the virus exhibit common symptoms including fever, rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis (red eyes).  The illness usually mild with symptoms lasting from several days to a week is common for the general population.  We have learned however, there is a much greater concern for pregnant women and their unborn children being infected and the potential for birth defects.  So, being proactive in preventing mosquito populations is vitally important to reducing the risk of the virus spreading.

According to the University of Florida extension service “mosquito eggs can be characterized by two major types: floodwater and permanent water eggs.  The females of floodwater species will lay their eggs on a moist substrate-not on standing water.  It is important that their eggs dry out for a period of time before they will become viable.  Once they have passed through the critical drying time, they may hatch if the area is flooded by rain or high tides.  Permanent water eggs cannot survive if they dry out, and therefore, must be laid in a fairly permanent source of water. ”  A detention pond may provide an optimal habitat for breeding.  With spring rains on the horizon, warm temperatures along with standing water in the detention pond, the mosquito is poised to make its annual return.  Now more than ever it is important to take care of those forgotten detention ponds and the standing water oftentimes found there.

In many of the detention ponds Downey’s team visit  we find the pond not operating properly for a host of reasons including excessive silt blocking the outlet control structure, blocked drains, and heavy tree growth.  What most ponds have in common is small pools of water scattered throughout making it a great place for mosquitos to breed.  These neglected ponds need to be considered for remediation to minimize the spread of the Zika virus and to comply with state regulations on detention pond management.

Ignoring the pond and hoping the problem will remedy itself is not a good plan. However, having your pond inspected by one of our experts can bring the remedial care to the forefront.  Being informed on the ponds condition and care required to bring into compliance and reduce the spread of the Zika virus is smart business all around.  Act now and have your pond inspected by our team of professionals.

February 8, 2016