Commercial, Residential Detention & Retention Pond Maintenance
Retention and detention ponds are often vital pieces of infrastructure that help prevent flooding during storms and heavy rain in both commercial and residential areas. However, these ponds operate best when they receive regular inspections and maintenance to keep equipment working properly and the surrounding area clean and appealing.
In commercial areas, retention and detention ponds can often be owned by the city or county in which they are in, or by the land owner such as apartment leasing agencies or office building owners. In residential areas, ponds can be the responsibility of, again, the city and county they are in or the home owner’s association of the neighborhood.
Regardless of ownership, retention and detention ponds are subject to regular city inspections, so it’s important to know what inspectors are looking for and the type of maintenance that should be performed regularly.
Common Inspection Areas
Aside from proper function, cleanliness and aesthetics are likely some areas that city and county inspectors will be monitoring. Here is a full list of common inspection components:
- Vegetation surrounding the retention or detention pond—vegetation can help keep debris from stormwater out of the pond, but it’s important to keep that vegetation well maintained to avoid overgrowth.
- Buildup—debris and silt build up can compromise the cleanliness of the pond posing potential public and environmental health risks.
- Retention pond equipment—the weir, exhaust, and headwall all need to be in working order at all times.
- Storm drain maintenance—the storm drains the feed into the retention or detention pond should be clear of debris and in good working order at all times.
The responsibility to schedule, uphold, and pay for regular maintenance for either type of bond depends on the ownership of the land it sits on. If the land is public, the maintenance is up to the city or county government and should be paid for through the state or local government budget. Commercial retention or detention ponds that sit on land owned by the business are the responsibility of that business. Apartment complex leasing agencies as well as office building owners are in charge of keeping up with pond maintenance and paying for it.
Retention and detention ponds in residential areas are usually the responsibility of the HOA in the area. It is up to them to budget for and maintain these ponds, as well as delegate proper resources, such as signage or fences, to protect residents from the potential drowning risks.
Hydrovac and Vacuum Maintenance
One of the easiest ways to ensure the maintenance of any type of retention or detention pond, commercial or residential, is to schedule regular hydrovac or vacuum services. Hydrovac technicians can use the combined power of highly pressurized water and vacuum hoses to blast away any unwanted algae or debris while the vacuum hose sucks away the sludge or silt buildup on the bottom of the pond.
Vacuum trucks can also be useful in maintaining storm drains as the hoses can reach far into the drain to clear away buildup and debris. Hydrovac and vacuum services don’t require much equipment or man power, meaning they are cost-efficient, fast solutions to the constant maintenance of retention and detention ponds.