The UNM Physical Plant Department will begin cleaning the Duck Pond over the weekend. The cleaning is done every few years because sludge accumulates on the bottom of the shallow pond displacing water and causing stress to fish in the pond.
UNM grounds staff work to keep the pond as clean as possible, but debris from the food given to the ducks and the resulting debris sometimes overwhelm the ecology of this artificial system. That means the pond must be periodically cleaned to restore balance to the system.
UNM has never stocked the pond with fish or turtles, but because the pond is in a public place, people dispose of unwanted animals, including domestic ducks at the pond. Wild ducks also use the pond intermittently during migration seasons.
The first step will be to set up portable holding tanks for fish and turtles that are captured and removed from the pond. The aerated holding tanks will be monitored by the staff in the Biology Department. Domestic ducks will be caged.
On Saturday-Sunday, March 9-10, UNM grounds staff will shut off the water fill and begin discharging water from the pond through the irrigation systems and two inch pumps.
On Monday, March 11, UNM grounds staff will begin pumping sludge from the bottom of the pond and cleaning intake screens and piping. Grounds staff will also inspect and repair the footbridge if needed and do other needed maintenance throughout the week.
By Friday, March 15, if all goes well, the UNM grounds staff will begin refilling the pond and will release turtles back into the pond. Grounds staff will monitor the pond for distressed wildlife throughout the entire process.
Questions may be directed to Dianne Anderson at 277-1807 or via email, firstname.lastname@example.org.