What is a retention pond and why is maintenance important?
A retention pond, while it may appear to be just another water feature, serves a much more important role. Excess stormwater runoff puts growing towns at greater danger of flooding and erosion. Retention ponds, like dams, are permanent constructions meant to hold water flow for a limited duration. The pond’s water level changes in reaction to a storm, lowering risk and protecting the town from flood damage and costly repairs.
Retention ponds are largely used to improve the quality of urban runoff from residential neighborhoods, roads, parking lots, industrial sites, and commercial sectors, as well as to lower peak stormwater runoff rates by storing water temporarily during heavy storms. They must be kept in good working order and retention pond maintenance is the key to making sure they function properly.
Retention Pond Maintenance
A poorly maintained retention pond is doomed to fail. If the pond is not owned by the local government, it is the obligation of the association to keep it in functioning order, as well as any costs incurred.
This includes regular inspections to identify and repair areas of erosion, gullies, and other damage, especially after severe storms or heavy rain; removing sediment and debris from the pond before it reaches the outlets; and beautifying the surrounding banks with grass, shrubs, and other vegetation.
When the pond is out of sight and/or there is no plan in place to consistently maintain it, simple maintenance such as mowing, garbage and litter cleanup, modest landscaping, sediment removal, and slope stability are typically overlooked. Bringing a neglected pond up to code can be a significant, unexpected cost as well as a disaster for the environment.
Failures within the pond and property damage downstream might cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Don’t forget about the attention from local government agencies, as well as the possible fines that come with a failed pond.