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A Properly Designed Water Feature

Dear Editor:

Not all water features are created equal. A properly designed water feature should consist of mechanical as well as biological filtration, plants and fish. This can be achieved by using a skimmer(mechanical filter) and a ‘bio-falls’ for the biological filtration. The addition of gravel in the bottom of the pond will also provide an area for the beneficial bacteria to colonize. This will help to break down organic matter as well as fish waste. The use of plants will help to decrease the amount of nutrients in the water, which will aid in the control of algae.

A properly designed pond will consist of all these components in the correct proportions. The need for the use of chemicals is practically eliminated while leaving the client with clean water and more time to enjoy their investment. When choosing a contractor be sure that they attend seminars and are abreast in the latest developments concerning eco balance ponds. Remember to work with mother nature not against her and you will have a pleasurable pond experience.

Premium Landscape Services is a proud member of the Professional Pond Builders of America Association and installs Aquascape Designs Inc. pond system for all our clients

Pieter van Westervelt
Premium Landscape Services
New Milford, New Jersey

Contractors, What Do You Think?

To Display or Not to Display reports that Andy Spano, a Westchester County, New York executive, recently signed legislation that amended the county’s Home Improvement Licensing Law. Henceforth, all landscape contractors and gardeners are required to post their company name and address on the working vehicles.

The new regulation isn’t just about security issues, i.e., allowing residents to easily identify the trucks and vans in the neighborhood that are there for working purposes, but also to aid the county's Consumer Protection Department in enforcement licensing regulations.

“We frequently receive complaints from residents who would like to report illegal dumping of debris or incorrect spraying of pesticides, only to realize that there is no company name on the van,” Elaine Price, director of Consumer Protection, told Ms. Price believes the amendment to the licensing law protects the consumer and the licensed landscape contractors. The New York State Turf & Landscape Association supported the new regulation.


We want your comments on this issue. Send your letters to or go to and click on the “Submit letters to LOL” link listed just below the news items.

To Rent or Not to Rent, That was the Question

From the June LCN Rental Equipment Survey

When given the option of purchasing, renting or leasing landscape equipment, the landscape contractors responding to LCN’s survey overwhelmingly prefer to purchase their heavy equipment. Ninety percent of the respondents reported purchasing their landscape equipment, in contrast to 37 percent who rent their equipment and 30 percent who lease their equipment. Of the equipment that was purchased, 63 percent of the respondents noted that they purchased new equipment while the remainder have primarily purchased used heavy equipment.

Of the various types of heavy equipment used on the jobsite, trenchers were the most popular piece of equipment, with 75 percent of the respondents using trenchers. Backhoes were used by 63 percent of the respondents, and dump trucks were used by 50 percent of the respondents. Equipment including bulldozers, cranes, grinders, and hydroseeders were each selected by 25 percent of the respondents, while chippers and compactors were each selected by 13 percent of the respondents.

Contractors who previously rented or leased heavy equipment but have since purchased this equipment were asked about how these purchases affected their per-project expenditures. Interestingly, 38 percent of the respondents noted that their expenditures were reduced by more than 20 percent, while 38 percent reported no change in per-project expenditures.

Of those respondents who rented their heavy equipment, 75 percent said their employees were given the task of operating this equipment, as opposed to the equipment owner or renting company. In fact, 88 percent of the respondents noted that operators from the rental company are not part of the equipment rental package.

When asked about the frequency of using heavy equipment such as bulldozers and backhoes on their landscaping projects, 63 percent of the respondents said that they use this equipment some of the time or most of the time. On the other hand, 38 percent of the respondents said they seldom or never use this equipment.

Respondents to the equipment rental survey included: 63 percent, company owners; 13 percent, presidents; 13 percent vice presidents; and 11 percent managers. Finally, the survey respondents were asked about the types of projects their businesses complete, including commercial, governmental, institutional and residential. Residential projects were the most common, with 88 percent of the responses. Commercial projects comprised 50 percent of the responses, while governmental projects received 13 percent of the responses. Note that the survey respondents could select more than one project category.

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June 26, 2019, 12:01 pm PDT

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