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Treatment for Murky or "Iced Tea" Water

Treatment for Murky or "Iced Tea" Water

Posted by Shannon Kavanagh on 21st Nov 2019

Treatment for Murky, “Iced Tea Water”

We get multiple calls every summer of people confused that their pond is clear of algae and weeds, yet they are unable to truly clear the water up. Often it is described as murky, brown or “like iced-tea” – also referred to as turbidity.

Frustrating as this is, there is a solution! Flocculent treatment is the best way to treat murky water. This is also beneficial to your pond as it reduces phosphates which are the food algae thrives on. Depending on the cause, there are different varieties of flocculent treatment to best solve the issue of murky water.

Treatment Options

Pond Logs

If the cause of the turbidity is inorganics like clays and soils, pond logs are your best option. These are a solid form of polymers that have been blended into logs. When placed in flowing water, these logs work to remove fine particles and reduce turbidity, metals and inanimate nutrient values. Essentially, the polymers in the log bind with phosphates, clays, and other inorganics, allowing them to settle at the bottom of the body of water, removing them from the water.

This treatment is even NSF certified for drinking water. Additional varieties are available to treat turbidity in municipal or industrial settings.

These logs can get placed in flowing water, such as in a water fall, or above an underwater diffuser. As long as water is circulating, the flocculent will help clear up the water.

Logs should be used at a rate of 1 log per 1.1 million L (300,000 gallons) of water


Powdered Flocculent

If the cause of turbidity and murky water is organics and organic build up, powdered flocculent is your best option. This can be sprinkled as a powder over water surface, through a waterfall or through a skimmer intake – the most important part is that it is able to circulate through the pond. Circulators are also available to make application easy.

40 lbs (1-5G Pail) Treats 250,000 L (66,000 gallons) of water


Liquid Flocculent

Liquid flocculent is also available to treat turbidity from organics, which is also fairly simple to apply. It should be pumped into the pond, ideally over a diffuser or into a waterfall. If neither of those are already in your pond, a circulator or mixer will also circulate water enough to make the flocculent effective. 

1 L Treats 12,000 L of water

1 barrel (208L) Treats 2.5 million L (650,000 gallons) of water

When flocculent is first applied the water will turn a milky white but should clear within a few hours and leave the water clearer than before treatment. It can be applied every 3 days until desired results are achieved.


Note for Application to Fish Ponds

Mixing flocculent with water at a pH of 8.2 can be toxic to fish. It is recommended that pH is between 6.5 & 8.2