There are a lot of muck removal options out there. They range in price, effort, and most importantly, how well they work. The options are as follows: lake muck aeration, lake muck blower or blaster, lake muck dredging, muck mat, lake muck pellets or tablets, lake muck rake, lake muck removal pumps or sometimes known as vacuums, lake muck roller, lake muck shovel, and finally lake muck chemicals. We will do are best to rank each on price, effort and effectiveness on a scale from 1 to 5. 5 being the best and 1 the worst.
The name says it all, it is a rake. The idea behind the muck rake is to pull all the muck out from the lake bottom. We have tried this before and it is extremely hard. Muck is not light and it is not solid. It is really hard to rake the muck into a trash container once you get it out of the water, let alone rake it out of the water! Remember you must be in the water too when you rake the muck. Its hard to keep your footing since you are standing in muck. It feels like a never ending process that kills your ambition since its hard to notice if you are making any progress. Plus once you get it out of the water, you will create a huge mess on your lawn. Think about all the black muck sludge that will be left over. Lastly, we need to talk about price. This is the only thing that you are gonna like about this solution. Its cheap. Rakes range from $40 to $100. To rank the lake muck rake on our scale.
Price: 5 Effort: 1 Effectiveness: 1
The idea is to suck up all the muck just like a vacuum and store it somewhere else. Where? Thats up to you. Companies that specialize in this usually can move it 2 thousand feet. It is a good solution for removing muck from ponds since you can just move the muck to another part of the pond that you do not use. However, for people living on a lake, there are usually government regulations and removing all the muck is impractical. Lots of hurdles to jump through and the costs will be expensive. Best company we have heard of goes by the name of ‘Muck Suckers’ in Ohio.
Price: 1 Effort: 3 Effectiveness: 3
These are machines that continually roll around in the mucky area, kind of like a weed roller. The idea is that it disrupts the lake bottom so the weeds cant grow. It creates a semi-circle where the weed will not grow. They work for stopping vegetation growth, but when you are dealing with more than a foot of muck not so effective. Also, the muck that is removed from the area just gets displaced to the outer edges. A personal thing that bothers us about this choice is that you have to first connect it to an electric line. So you will have to get a cable running from your home to the edge of the water. Second, it runs 24/7 and makes it a pain when you go swimming as you are always watching out for so you don’t get hit by it. Price range from $1500 to $4000.
Price: 2 Effort: 4 Effectiveness: 3
The idea is as basic as it can be. If you do not like something, shovel it all out. The lake muck shovels have holes that allow the water to pass through them. Just like the lake muck rake, it is going to be very tough. Remember you are standing in the muck will you do this and then you have to walk back to land each time you shovel any of the muck out. It is an extremely slow process and again like the muck rake, it is going to take a lot of ambition and time. Progress is slow and hard. Its also just as messy as the muck rake. But I do think it works better than the muck rake. Price range is between $50 to $100.
Price: 5 Effort: 1 Effectiveness: 2
These are just packed up with bacteria that will eat up organic life such as leaves, fish remains or dead weeds. However, the problem is that muck is about 90% dirt, clay and silt. Only 10% is organic material which poses a big problem for this solution. It is more of a ploy then an actual solution. Therefore, do not waist your money on this fake solution.
Price: 2 Effort: 5 Effectiveness: 0
This needs to be done by a company who specializes in dredging lakes. Its expensive but it does remove the muck. However, don’t forget about taking of the lake after wards. It needs to be well managed afterwards, otherwise it will just fill back up again. Consult the dredging company for proper lake management practices afterwards. It can be highly effective when done right. I have seen a guy do this for his swimming area on a nearby lake. There was about 5 feet deep worth of muck in the swimming area in front of his home. But he did not do anything to manage it afterwards. Within four years, there was about 2 feet worth of muck at the bottom. Not a good option if you do not plan on putting the time and effort to make sure the muck stays gone.
Price: 1 Effort: 3 Effectiveness: 4
They sound better than they actually are. They are electric fans that try to create an underwater current to push the muck away. They are usually attached to a dock and remember it is electric. So you will need to have an electric line to your dock. There are some versions that can float or be placed on the lake bottom. If you have a lot of muck it will move the top layer away to a point. Its not gonna move all the muck and it is especially not gonna carry the muck 20 feet away. The distance it can push the muck maxes out around 10 to 12 feet.
Two reasons why I do not recommend this option. Having a live electrical cord in a lake is always worrisome. If something happens to the cord, where the electricity touches the water around it. It will create a dangerous situation for anyone swimming who touches your dock. It is expensive. Usually between $700 to $2500.
Price: 3 Effort: 5 Effectiveness: 2
Aeration adds bunch of oxygen to the lake. Its not a great solution for getting rid of your muck problem but it is great for your lake. It is great for fish and the good type of bacteria. The bacteria will start reproducing like crazy and will start eating up all the organic stuff in your lake. It creates a clean lake so all the lake weeds and algae will start to disappear. The price ranges from $200 to a few thousand dollars. I have seen a solar powered aerator in a pond once. The pond was about 3 acre big. The pond is much clearer now. There is few weeds near it and it has created about a 2 to 3 feet circle around it with open water.
Price: 3 Effort: 5 Effectiveness: 1
Muck mat is our unique solution to the problem. It creates a firm lake bottom for large swimming areas. Think of them as Tetris blocks that you can place in your swimming area to create a weed and muck free swimming area that is however big you like. It has two pieces to it. First, it has the large mat which kills all the lake weeds below it by blocking the sunlight from reaching the lake weeds below it. Second, it has a special snow shoe material below the mat that keeps anything or anyone who stands on it from sinking into the muck. It works by spreading out the weight, just like a snow shoe. The reason why people sink into muck is that the weight of a person is to heavy for the muck to hold up so it just moves to the side of your foot. Once your foot sinks to the bottom of the lake, the muck encapsulates your leg. However, the muck mat works by spreading out the weight over a large area so that the muck can hold the persons body weight up. Just like how a snow shoe works when walking over snow. But instead of snow it is muck. Price ranges from $500 to $1500, depending on how many mats you like or how big the mats are. It is also super easy to install. Just assemble it in 5 minutes and drag over to the area you would like to swim and walk on. Great solution for creating a weed and muck free swimming area.
Price: 3 Effort: 5 Effectiveness: 5
Currently there is no chemical that removes muck, but it would be a great invention if someone creates it. However, I do not have much hope for invention. Lake muck is basically just dirt, making dirt disappear with chemicals seems like science fiction but anything is possible now days.
We hope this gives you a general idea of what products are out there and curtails your expectations in the realm of realistic. Since we know a lot of these products sound great or easy at first but do not work as well as advertised or are a lot harder then one might think. Please contact us if you have more detailed questions about any of the products. We have been in this business for a long time and will be more than happy to share our knowledge.