Flooding! Why Lakes And Retention Ponds Fail To Manage Stormwater Runoff
By: Pete Balciunas
Through the development of homes, buildings and parking lots, we’re altering our watersheds having to build our own systems to manage water runoff. 1 inch of rain in a square foot of surface area produces .62 gallons of water. Large roofs of buildings and the surface area of parking lots collect millions of gallons of water from an average rain event. This water needs to go somewhere. This is where water retention ponds are necessary to help mitigate the storm flow. Water quality in a retention pond is a huge challenge because of the type of water the pond collects. Many retention ponds suffer from water health issues thatare multiplied when they’re not maintained. Retention ponds are inundated with all kinds of nutrients and chemicals. Over time, the retention pond stops doing its job that can lead to aesthetic issues, overgrowth of water weeds, wildlife sickness/death and flooding.
Why do we maintain retention ponds?
Retention ponds with no circulation or irritation are targets for a myriad of problems. Stagnant water is never good. Runoff from lawns, roads, and parking lots load our retention ponds with challenges. Fertilizers running into a retention pond from lawns aid in algae blooms that choke off oxygen and increase other water weeds. Water temperatures rise and the system collapses upon itself. This can cause death events of both good plant and wildlife. All of this then falls to the bottom of the pond and begins to decompose, upsetting the water chemistry and causes silt buildup that reduces water volume and causes drain obstruction.
Tropical Storm Fay affected most of Florida and stalled over Melbourne causing record flooding.
Stay ahaead of increase of flooding dangers.
Water is powerful and will do whatever it can to reach its own level. If retention pond drains are obstructed by silt, plant roots, and debris, the design of the retention pond will cease to work properly. Sometimes the problem is easily recognized while other times the trouble is underwater. Underwater clogs in drainage are like a ticking time bomb because you won’t notice the problem until there are rain events that cause flooding. The only way to assess what’s happening under the surface of the retention pond is to get eyes in the water to assess what’s going on. Commercial divers or underwater ROV’s (remote operated vehicles) manned by a professional can give a clear overview of any potential problems in your lake or pond. If incoming pipes or outgoing restrictors are clogged, this will affect the entire neighborhood during a heavy rain event. Tropical Storm Fay was a prime example of a system that stalled over the top of Melbourne, Florida for days dumping 36 inches of water in about 48 hour time frame. Any irrigation that was not flowing properly failed causing a massive flooding event in those neighborhoods.
How do we take preventive action?
The answer is to be preventive and proactive when it comes to retention pond health and drainage. L.E.W. Inc. is capable of getting eyes under the water to assess any possible issues with incoming pipes or outgoing restrictors. After the assessment, L.E.W Inc. has specialized equipment to fix the problem assuring that your lake or neighborhood retention pond will save the day when that next big storm hits. Give L.E.W. Inc. a call and receive a free estimate. 321-508-3574.