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Retention Pond
4 Minutes

Stormwater Management: Retention and Detention Ponds

The need for water diversion grows as communities and properties expand. Stormwater runoff can quickly overwhelm municipal sewers and cause flooding of surrounding lakes and waterways. Stormwater management, at the source, will save millions of dollars in expensive maintenance that would otherwise be used to correct erosion or control flooding.

The construction of a basin is a popular form of stormwater management. Basins are designed to collect water and release it slowly enough to avoid floods and erosion.

Detention and retention ponds are the two major categories of basins, and we’ll look at both of them today.


What’s The Difference Between a Retention and Detention Pond?

The primary difference between a detention pond and a retention pond is whether or not the location contains a permanent body of water like most ponds you may be familiar with today. Detention ponds are dry and have a bottom orifice level. While a riser and an orifice are situated at a higher point in a retaining pond, allowing it to retain a certain volume of water.

Both types of basins are crucial for storing and slowing stormwater runoff from surrounding areas, especially in areas where asphalt or concrete construction has taken place. Stormwater runoff runs much quicker from these surfaces than it does from naturally occurring areas, so it must be diverted to ensure the optimal amount of runoff and the rate at which the runoff occurs.

Detention Ponds

Detention ponds are commonly used in areas where there is at least 10 acres of land available. They have a slight slope to help redirect water into the drainage system, while the basin area can retain a large amount of water. Once in the detention pond, the water slowly drains out through the structure’s bottom. You can add large rock or other types of materials to help slow the flow of water into the detention pond and filter out excess debris, depending on your specific needs. Detention ponds are typically less expensive to install, but they can also serve as mosquito breeding grounds.

Advantages of a Detention Pond

  • The vegetative buffer in the surrounding areas can withstand both dry and wet conditions.
  • It could be less expensive to install than a wet retention pond since the size is usually smaller.

Disadvantages of a Detention Pond

  • It still requires a substantial amount of space.
  • Doesn’t improve the quality of the water.
  • It’s possible that it would become a mosquito breeding ground.
  • It can devalue a property while retention ponds may add value.


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Retention Ponds

Retention ponds are a great way to store and treat stormwater, allowing you to control the quantity and quality of water within it. Retention ponds are typically built in areas with natural vegetation and are filled through underground pipes that connect storm drains to the pond.

Retention ponds are designed to hold a huge volume of water at one time and then release it gradually into outlets. Retention ponds are beneficial because they enhance water quality and provide new habitats but they can also pose a risk of drowning.

Advantages of a Retention Pond

  • Retention ponds are easy to build if enough space is available.
  • Collects and enhances the quality of water.
  • Water is naturally processed without the need of additional equipment.
  • Stormwater collection and flood control improvement.
  • There are new ecosystems being created.
  • It’s possible to use it for recreational activities.

Disadvantages of a Retention Pond

  • It’s a potential drowning hazard if proper safety measures are not in place.
  • Large areas of land are required.
  • Negative effects on water quality if not properly maintained.
Retention Pond Maintenance

A poorly maintained retention pond is doomed to fail. If the pond is not owned by the local government, it is the responsibility of the association or property management to keep it in working order, as well as any costs that are incurred. This includes regular inspections to identify and repair areas of erosion, gullies, and other damage, especially after severe storms or heavy rain. Also, removing sediment and debris from the pond before it reaches the outlets and beautifying the surrounding banks with grass, shrubs, and other vegetation.

Both Basins Play a Critical Part in Stormwater Management

Stormwater management plays a critical role in protecting our lakes, streams, and rivers from erosion and pollutants from land development. Detention Ponds will temporarily store a volume of stormwater runoff and discharge it at a regulated rate. Retention Ponds hold a consistent amount of water for the treatment of runoff in order to eliminate contaminants and sediments until it is discharged.

Contact Everor Facility Management today to schedule a consultation on how to best manage the stormwater on your commercial property.