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Old 07-09-2009, 03:15 AM   #1
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Scraping lead paint near my ponds...

Hope this is ok...I originally posted this question on another site, but have had zero response so far...

At long last, I have begun the process of scraping paint off our porch, and around the front door of our 100 year old house. I am sure the vast majority of the paint is lead based. The scraped areas are just to one side of my ponds. (I have two pre-formed ponds, one above the other, with a waterfall in-between.) The good news is that my ponds are not currently running...and my fish are still safely in the basement in a Rubbermaid horse trough (sp?).

I have done everything I can to catch the chips of scraped paint in drop-cloths, but I know I have not caught it all. And then there is the dust that just goes flying everywhere! And now we have moved on to the ornately carved areas around the front door where we have to use a chemical product to soften the umpteen layers before scraping is even possible. I tried several types of "less toxic" paint removers first...soy and citrus based varieties...and none of them did much of anything at all. So now I have to worry about some of the "chemical paint remover-soaked lead-paint chips" getting into the ponds!

I plan on crawling under the porch and getting up all the chips I can find, but it's inevitable that some of this stuff will blow into the ponds after I get them running again. What can I do to help my fish? I run a pump in a home-made filter box in the bottom pond that pumps water up to a whiskey barrel above the top pond. The whiskey barrel has a liner with an over flow, and is filled with lava rocks. The filter box in the lower pond is filled with filter floss and 2 blue matala pads. I can easily add filter bags full of carbon, or whatever else might work.

Suggestions? I have a Python pond cleaner too. I am thinking that weekly water changes might be a good idea...

Any suggestions or input would be mighty appreciated. I have had most of my fish since they were eggs, and would hate to lose any of them.

Thanks!
Cathy T.
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Old 07-09-2009, 08:22 AM   #2
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I would have thrown a few tarps over the pond and placed some bricks or rocks on the edges so that nothing could get in. You could still do this and use a leaf blower to get the remaining chips out of the area. I'm not sure if adding carbon would do anything or not. You'll have to rely on the others for that answer.
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Old 07-09-2009, 09:46 AM   #3
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I am not too worried about anything falling into the ponds themselves right now...they are empty and the water is not running. In fact, the chips that have ended up in there so far have been the easiest to remove...a dustpan and brush has done the job. Getting them off the dirt and mulch has been more work. A leaf blower is a great idea...might make it easier to get the chips out from under the porch.

I doubt carbon will do any good. But there must be something that goes into a filter to deactivate toxic stuff in a pond.

I am liking the leaf blower idea, the more I think about it.

Thanks!
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