Many local residents have noticed a rotting stench coming from the pond at Donnelly Park within the past few weeks that was coming from scores of dead fish due to a recent algae bloom. The City of Turlock Municipal Services, however, has taken steps to help eradicate this problem, including adding approximately 3 million gallons of drinking water into the pond.
Municipal Services Director Dan Madden informed the City Council at the September 11th City Council meeting that the problem was caused by algae that bloomed on the surface of the water, causing the sunlight to be blocked from reaching the lower surface, which resulted in the death of underwater plants and algae as well. As the algae and plants rotted beneath the surface of the water, the oxygen within the water started to dissolve as the decay from the algae devoured it, which resulted in dead fish rising to the surface of the water.
Madden also stated at the September 11th meeting that city staff were working to remove the dead fish from the pond to lessen the odor, and that the City would have to pump drinking water into the closed artificial pond system to stabilize the water levels. Although Madden stated that he was reluctant to pumping millions of gallons of drinking water into the lake, it was inevitably the only option to help fix the issue.
“We’ve added water to the pond over the last three months,” stated Madden, earlier this week. “Most recently was about two weeks ago. About 2-3 million gallons or so in order to try to address the anoxic conditions in the pond.”
While this is a natural phenomenon and occurs every year, Madden stated that this year’s condition was worse than normal for reasons that he could not explain.
City crews are still working to collect all the deceased fish as well as scrape up other debris that accumulated in the water in efforts to keep the Donnelly pond beautiful for the enjoyment of community members.
Algae Bloom Kills Fish and Creates Odor at Donnelly Park