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Retention Ponds

The differences between retention ponds and personal ponds are important in understanding how to manage them.

Often a home owner in a homeowner’s association will falsely believe that their property is located on a pond.  However, truth be told, they are actually living on a retention pond or retention basin.  There is one major difference between a true pond and a retention pond and homeowners need to know what it is.

The primary difference is the intention of the pond.  In a personal pond, the design is specific to the uses of the homeowner; for example, a beach for swimming, deeper portions for good fish habitat, etc.  In a retention pond, there is only one concern for its use and that is to collect water from streets and yards and provide a steady flow of this water into ditches and streams.  Due to this single primary purpose, the retention pond is generally shallow and nutrient rich.  However, it is effective in its purpose; it contains runoff and channels it in a controlled fashion into area ditches and streams.

Knowing the purpose of a retention pond will help explain why certain strategies work or don’t work in the pond.

For instance, aggressive herbicide treatment for weeds and algae will be necessary in order to control them due to the shallow nature of the retention pond.  Generally, complete pond treatments done every fourteen to eighteen days will suffice; however, it may be necessary to treat weekly in the heat of summer due to high sunlight, heat and nutrient load.

Adding biological supplements will aid in reducing nutrients, but the reintroduction of nutrients due to runoff could overwhelm the bacterial colonies.  Also, use pond dyes but the same runoff could flush the colorant out much more quickly than in a personal pond.

Retention ponds are not designed for aesthetics, fishing or swimming; their sole existence is to control water flow in a designated area.  Developing a sound treatment strategy is imperative in order to keep a retention pond in an acceptable condition.

For more information on retention ponds Contact Sanco.

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