Why Retention Ponds Are Important

Are you asking, “What is a retention pond?” A retention pond is a type of water feature, but it plays a much more important role. Retention ponds such as dams are permanent constructions created to hold water flow for a limited time. The water level of the pond changes as a result of a storm, thus reducing the risk and protecting properties from flood damage that can result in expensive repairs.

The Importance of Retention Ponds

Are you asking, “How does storm water drain?” Retention ponds are mainly used to help improve the quality of urban runoff from residential neighborhoods, industrial sites, commercial sectors, and parking lots. Additionally, retention ponds aim to lower peak stormwater runoff rates by storing water during heavy storms for a temporary period of time. Furthermore, retention ponds must always be kept in proper working order. The key to making sure they continue functioning properly is by maintaining them.

Detention vs Retention Ponds

The biggest difference between a detention basin and a retention basin is the absence or presence of a permanent pool of water or pond. In many cases, the orifice is part of a metal or concrete structure known as a riser. Basins are important for slowing and storing stormwater runoff from nearby areas.

Dry Detention Basins

Dry detention ponds are best used in locations with ten or more acres of land. It is not as easy to control water quality on smaller sites. This makes other options more appropriate. Dry detention ponds typically use a tiny slope to divert water.

Advantages of detention ponds are:

  • It may not cost as much to implement as a wet retention pond since the size is much smaller.
  • Surrounding areas have a vegetative buffer that can withstand wet or dry conditions.

Disadvantages of detention ponds are:

  • Requires a large amount of space
  • Does not adequately improve the quality of water
  • Can become a breeding ground for mosquitos
  • Can detract from the value of property

Wet Retention Ponds

Wet retention ponds are considered to be a control structure for stormwater and provide treatment and retention of stormwater runoff that is contaminated. By retaining and capturing stormwater runoff, wet retention ponds control the quality and quantity of stormwater. To improve bank stability and enhance aesthetic benefits, retention ponds should always be surrounded by natural vegetation.

Advantages of wet retention ponds include:

  • Collects and improves the quality of water
  • Easy and simple to maintain if the space is provided
  • Naturally process water minus additional equipment
  • Improvement of stormwater collection and flood control
  • Can be used for recreational purposes

Disadvantages of wet retention ponds include:

  • Large areas of land are required
  • Can be considered a drowning hazard
  • Negative water quality impacts are possible if they are not designed properly

Considerations for Maintenance

Maintenance is required for wet and dry basins to ensure that the orifice does not become clogged or blocked. Keeping the pipes clear of debris will ensure that the basins and ponds continue to function properly. Keeping up with the necessary maintenance can greatly reduce the cost of repairs in the future.