Summit Barley Straw Planters work improving water quality in several ways. The natural decomposition of the straw in the water helps to keep water quality pristine. This is accomplished by a natural reaction between the humic acids in the straw from decomposition, sunlight and oxygen. These elements combine to create a condition which keeps water clear. Barley straw promotes healthy populations of invertebrate life that consume harmful contaminates. These tiny creatures are important to the food chain in the pond. All these processes combine to produce a clearer, healthier and long lasting pond environment.