Hi, there. I am your neighborhood stormwater pond. You might call me by a different name, maybe lagoon, lake, or fishing pond, but chances are if you live in a community with a pond, it’s me, your friendly stormwater pond. I have been designed by engineers to perform an important job and help manage flooding and stormwater pollution in your neighborhood. Each time it rains, stormwater runoff is directed to me through a network of drains, pipes, and ditches; once it reaches the pond it is temporarily stored and slowly released over time, reducing flooding around your streets and homes and capturing and trapping pollution in your pond, protecting downstream waterways. I do such a good job at these that I am one of the most frequently used practices to manage runoff in our communities. In South Carolina’s eight coastal counties, researchers have documented more than 9,000 stormwater ponds alone!
Stormwater ponds like me require regular inspection and maintenance to help protect the health of your community and downstream ecosystem, as well as identify small problems before they become large and expensive ones. Common maintenance tasks you can expect include aquatic plant control, aeration, shoreline stabilization (I look great with a flowering perennial buffer!), dredging, and more. Upland management is also important to help keep me healthy; practices to reduce runoff and minimize pollution in the landscape will make my job managing flooding and water quality easier. And don’t forget! The task of stormwater pond management is not just for those that live adjacent to me; pond management is a whole community undertaking, as the entire neighborhood plays a role in and benefits from my function. So, plan ahead. As a community, establish a capital reserve fund and set aside resources for my management, work with a professional for assistance where needed, and communicate my purpose, and the importance for responsible pond and upland management, with your neighbor.
Clemson Extension has a lot of resources to help. For more info, check:
HGIC 1881, Stormwater Ponds: Inspection and Maintenance Considerations
HGIC 1882, Stormwater Ponds: A Guide for Pond Owners
And, visit the South Carolina Stormwater Pond Management Website for links to inspection forms and a FAQ page.