Norwalk-based contractor, Candide Valadares, long time pioneer of unique water garden installations, is proud to announce his business's new name and expansion of services. Now operating under the business entity Candide Contractor, LLC, the full service contracting firm has added pond dredging to its long list of landscaping and water garden services. With more homeowners than ever turning to ponds as a natural backyard accoutrement, this new service is a critical and timely addition.

"Pond dredging is pond maintenance -- over time silt and sediment accumulate on pond bottoms, reducing the original pond depth and volume and the ecosystem," Valadares said. "Anyone who has a natural pond on their property will have to dredge their pond eventually."

According to Valadares, many factors contribute to the health and aesthetics of a pond: direct stream inflows carrying organic matter and silt, storm drainage carrying sand and tree canopies dropping leaves year after year. Over time all these factors lead to a build up of layers of organic matter that fill up a pond.

Backyard ponds and natural landscaping are increasingly popular as cost effective and beautiful alternatives to expensively maintained swimming pools and lawns. A 2010 survey of residential landscape architects by the American Society of Landscape Architects showed an increased interest in design elements that reduce time and money. Topping the list were low-maintenance landscapes (94 percent) that included native/adapted drought tolerant plants (85.2 percent), less lawn (73.9 percent) and popular water features like fountains and ponds (87.8 percent).

Even if you do everything right, however, the nature of a pond's life cycle is to fill up with sediment and algae, becoming more marsh-like and eventually returning to woodland. You must break the natural cycle to keep your pond a pond. Homeowners with ponds that are 25 to 100 feet across or more are prime candidates for pond dredging.

Prior to their expansion into pond dredging this year Candide Contractor, LLC, provided pond owners with aerators and pond enzymes to dissolve organic matter and help those ecosystems be more ecologically stable. But even those methods cannot take the place of pond dredging to re-establish a good water volume in a pond.

"When it gets to where you have two feet or less water you have to dredge the pond," Valadares said. "It's not easy to maintain with less than 2 feet. A pond we dredged recently was pretty much a swamp and in the summer it dried right up. You had an ecosystem with frogs and fish but without a constant water source it is not sustainable."

Valadares has run a full service landscaping design and contract business for over 20 years providing local businesses and homeowners with everything from design to maintenance and construction.

For more information visit www.CandideContractor.com or call 203-847-0300.