With some regularity we receive contacts to beautify or improve artificial ponds in urban parks. What at first glance seems like a good idea quickly reaches its limits. Because many times an improvement through biofiltration or plant beautification, which would make the pond water clearer and the scenery more beautiful, is not viable. For the simple reason that the promoters don’t think about abandoning the fish and ducks that live there.

Fish and ducks are polluting vectors in ponds of this size and the main reason why the ponds in parks often look terrible, no transparent water and looking unappetizing. As human beings we still relate water to our food, even today when water comes through the tap.

I remember well the walks with my parents, on Sundays, around the medieval city in which we lived. Outside the wall there were extensive parks, and yes, with ponds. And yes, with fish, ducks and even swans. And a fountain, which we especially like. But the water was a disenchantment. At the time I couldn’t explain it, because as a child I didn’t relate the dead and sad appearance of the water with the animals that were placed there. Pieces of bread even floated, because others thought it was a good idea to resolve the issue of dry bread from the day before in this way…. There was a concrete maple on the bank, there were no plants, not even on the bank, not even water lilies that they might have liked the site. Not a single frog! After all, with all the goodwill on the part of the managers, it was a soulless place.

With my professional experience today, that memory hurts me, I confess. Yes, it would be possible to have ponds in city parks, with clear, transparent water. Bio-based solution technology makes it possible to set up very effective water treatment systems, whether for bathing water, recreational water or wastewater. But due to a strong condition: it had to be an ecosystem without domestic animals, whether ducks or fish! And no dogs that bathe there.

In public space there is access for everyone. Who’s to say that someone “expert” doesn’t think that fish are needed? And he throws in a few “fish” and, through ignorance, ruins a well-done project. And, in this way, damage an ecosystem created to delight visitors to a public space. Thus, good will, due to lack of knowledge, easily becomes an act of sabotage. Maybe it’s not time yet to implement this type of ecosystem in urban parks?