After several years of the odiferous green “ooze” proliferating the ponds at Central Park, the end of the foul smells and green sludge will soon be gone forever.
With most of the water already removed from the ponds and mostly only the thick, green, sludge remaining, the ponds will soon be completely be empty and readied for a state-of-the-art filtration system.
Once City laborers have removed all the water and sludge, a contractor will install a two-stage wetland treatment system, “to improve the water quality for the City’s Central Park Pond,” according to a City contract. The new system features intake skimmers and an intake strainer, a pump station and distribution piping, two-stage up flow wetland pumping system and discharge system – all designed to keep water clean and free of the green sludge that plagued Central Park for so long.
The new system, similar to those utilized in other locations with similar geese and duck populations, will allow for automatic operation and remote monitoring. The wetlands treatment system will use natural processes and plants to filter organic material that causes algae growth in the pond.
According to Parks and recreation Director Jim Teixeira, the migratory ducks and geese will self-relocate to more appropriate locations for nesting such as nearby creeks and wetlands near the bay. The turtles and fish that were released by pet owners into the ponds have been relocated, with the turtles going to Bay Area Turtle & Tortoise sanctuary for rehabilitation and adoption. “The public is reminded and encouraged to not feed the wild animals in parks since it suppresses their natural foraging behavior and introduces an inappropriate unhealthy diet for the animals. The City encourages responsible pet ownership and care,” states Teixeira.
In addition, the pond’s water supply is being converted from drinking water to recycled water, conserving between 1 million and 1.5 million gallons of drinking water per year.
The ponds are expected to be open by the Silicon Valley BBQ championships in late June.