A small amount of algae can be an important part of a pond’s ecosystem. If that system gets out of balance, the algae can form dangerous blooms that destroy everything in the pond. It can also problematic if it starts to grow in birdbaths, water tanks, or any other part of your home.
Algal blooms are famous for killing fish. Both algae and fish need to get oxygen from the water to survive. If the algae grows too fast, it will take too much oxygen and some fish will die. When those fish decompose, the algae will use the nutrients that the decomposition releases to fuel more growth. That continues the cycle until all of the fish in the pond or lake are dead.
Algae has a distinctive smell. Most people won’t notice it in small quantities, but a pond or even a birdbath full of algae near a home can make the whole area smell like a bog. There’s no way to get rid of the smell short of getting rid of the algae, and that’s much easier if you can catch it early.
Most people like to see pure, clean water near their home. Unfortunately, water with too much algae in it looks like a pool full of toxic slime. It turns an attractive water feature into an eyesore. If something disturbs the water and causes the algae to splash out of the reservoir, it can even stain the surrounding area. This is an especially big problem in the case of birdbaths and fountains, since it can leave unpleasant residue on the outside of the container.
Exposure to Toxins
Some forms of algae are perfectly safe for humans, but other forms are surprisingly toxic. Most people can’t tell the difference between the two, so it’s best to play it safe and avoid contact with all algae. Accidental contact is easy when the algae is around your home, so a reservoir full of algae can be a significant health hazard.
Algae can cause practical problems if it gets into an irrigation system. Small quantities can run through a system without too many problems. A large quantity will start to build up inside the pipes and lead to clogs. The system will stop functioning until you clean it out, which can be a long, smelly, and difficult task.
Humans aren’t the only creatures that dislike algae. People who rely on water to attract animals by using birdbaths or drinking troughs generally find that the animals stop showing up if algae gets into the water. In the best case scenario, the animals simply look for water somewhere else until they can come back to their usual spot. In the worst scenario, the drink some of the algae and suffer from health problems that can keep them away forever.