Who doesn’t want to live by the water?
Homeowners across America scramble to find waterside properties, but for many interested buyers, the prices are out of reach. For others, the area’s geography isn’t conducive.
Luckily, there’s an effective tactic to give the entire neighborhood what they want. A retention pond is an easy way to meet the desire towns have for their own water source, and it comes with a whole bunch of cool benefits.
Chances are your neighborhood could benefit from a retention pond. Read on to find out if we’re right.
Dry vs. Wet Drainage Systems
To define what a retention pond is, it’s easiest to compare it to its dry cousin, the detention pond.
The detention process uses what is usually referred to as a dry pond. Dry ponds are common in arid west regions. They slow water flow, hold it for a short period, then release it into the environment.
Wet ponds, or retention ponds, contain a permanent storage of water that fluctuates with the rain and runoff. Deposited sediments remain at the bottom of the pond and some water is drained back into the environment.
The process of creating either type of pond requires professional installment, as an incorrect application has devastating effects on the environment and water.
Both ponds are used across the nation and offered through companies specializing in drainage services, such as Southern Drainage Systems LLC.
The Benefits of a Retention Pond
While dry and wet ponds have their own unique benefits, retention ponds often take the cake for their versatility and many benefits to nearby neighborhoods.
Of course, a prominent advantage of these systems is their ability to help with flooding and city water drainage. Stormwater retention ponds are created to direct the water from precipitation and runoff into the storage area. There, it is held until water levels allow it to slowly be re-introduced to the environment, mimicking the actions of natural water sources.
When this occurs, the water is directed away to discourage flooding.
2. Contamination of Water Systems
Wet ponds decrease the likelihood of water systems becoming contaminated.
These systems intercept contaminated water before it reaches surface waters, which can then travel into water systems. Instead, the water is redirected to the pond, where harmful particles and toxins bind to sediments or are absorbed by plants.
Water is further filtered naturally through the soil when it is released.
Studies find retention ponds decrease several pollutants by 30% to 80%:
3. Avoids Damaging Streams and Rivers
The ability to collect and bind harmful contaminants in sediments prevents them from reaching streams and rivers, further damaging the ecosystems. However, wet ponds also aid in water source preservation by discouraging erosion.
Without water flow being directed to the retention pond, runoff makes its way into streams and rivers. Eventually, this causes erosion of the water source’s banks and creates further hazards in locations where the river meets larger sources.
Bradford County, Pennsylvania discovered their eroding stream systems extended issues to the Chesapeake Bay, where it contributed 243,000 tons of sediment, 608,000 pounds of nitrogen and 243,000 pounds of phosphorus to the body of water.
4. Save Money
Erosion of streams creates unstable water sources, which wreak havoc on nearby towns.
Bradford County, Pennsylvania found their 296 miles of actively eroding streambanks would cost $5 million a year to fix. That number skyrockets if nearby water sources are contaminated due to overflooding.
The erosion control, flooding control and clean water retention ponds provide save neighborhoods untold amounts of cash.
5. Creates New Habitats
One beautiful aspect of retention ponds is that it creates new habitats. Plantlife is required to adequately filter the water around the retention area, which brings further wildlife to the location.
When maintained properly, these water sources form something similar to an irrigation system, which can create healthy habitats for wildlife, vegetation, and insects.
6. Easier Upkeep
Tending to a retention pond requires careful planning and continual maintenance. However, annual and as-needed maintenance is limited to the following:
- Cleaning and removing debris
- Harvesting vegetation
- Repairing embankments and side slopes
- Repairing control structures
Annual inspections are also required.
Aside from this routine maintenance, the EPA recommends further upkeep in five-year and 20-year cycles.
Retention ponds help avoid the flooding associated with all storm types, whether it’s a hurricane or a regular thunderstorm. They are even possible to construct in areas where groundwater is vulnerable, although a lined pond is necessary.
Consequently, practically any neighborhood with enough space to create a wet pond benefits from this addition.
8. Value to Local Properties
Sure, it’s not a beach-side property, but living next to a properly-maintained retention pond adds a certain elegance to a home.
It’s no surprise, then, that the marsh-like geography can increase local property values. In fact, data indicates ponds or wetlands increase the surrounding property values by up to 300%.
9. Value for Townspeople
All the townspeople make out with a retention pond. In addition to heightening property values, neighborhoods don’t have to worry about the property costs associated with flooding.
According to FEMA, just one inch of flood damage results in up to $27,000 worth of damages.
In cities particularly prone to floods, ponds even increase the safety of residents. Florida relies on retention ponds to aid with water related to hurricanes, and new technology is on the market that predicts how much levels should change in the ponds to prepare for any inclement weather.
10. Aesthetic Appeal
A retention pond should never be used for recreational purposes, as it can interrupt the process the wet pond executes. However, these areas provide an aesthetic appeal missing in dry ponds.
They also offer opportunities for further appeal. The wildlife and plant life can be enhanced to add to the beauty, creating an even more pleasurable area for city folk.
Locals can enjoy the wildlife the pond brings as well as the sight of the pond itself.
Create a Personal Paradise
A retention pond can certainly add a wild, beautiful element that creeps into your backyard. However, your home’s front is just as important.
Want to increase your curb appeal?
Take a look at our article about 10 simple landscaping ideas for your front yard.
Make your home–front and back–into your own personal paradise.