Property Management Tips: Retention Ponds
Retention ponds add beauty to a neighborhood, and provide a recreation area when stocked with fish, but also serve a very important function. They help control stormwater runoff, prevent flooding, control erosion and provide a way to filter pollutants. We especially appreciate their usefulness when we have downpours, or rains that last for days and days and the ground is soaked and we are checking Pinterest for “How to build an ark out of wood pallets.” But HOAs and Property Managers are required to maintain compliance with local and state retention pond regulations. And they are many! Here is a link to the City of Greensboro’s Stormwater Manual if you want to do some “light reading” before bed tonight.
If your retention ponds are not maintained properly, the fines and costs to bring them to code and/or repair damages done can skyrocket very quickly. An ounce of prevention is definitely cheaper and easier than a pound of cure!! Your retention pond can be out of code from too much debris, damaged drainage pipes, or a seepage issue, as well as many other things.
Here are some retention pond maintenance essentials to help you remain proactive and up to code:
Introduce Plants Around the Pond
Vegetation, especially grasses, most obviously provide aesthetic appeal. But they also serve several important functions. Plants offer protection against erosion, and also help prevent pollutants from running into the pond. Additionally, vegetation deters people from entering the water, but encourages wildlife by providing a safe environment. (Just remember that “wildlife” often includes snakes, so be careful around the banks.) Incorporating native plants is always a great idea whenever possible. Remember not to block access to any areas needed for maintenance.
Ensure the Landscape is Well Maintained
A properly maintained landscape will not only improve your retention pond’s functionality and help it meet the required standards, it also looks beautiful. Everyone wants their property to look its best, whether they own or rent, residential or professional.
Hiring a trusted landscape maintenance company is the best way to achieve this. A landscape professional understands what the needs are for the surrounding area. For example, they will not over-trim the vegetation near the pond’s banks, which would prevent them from catching pollution and controlling erosion. They can keep an eye out for potential issues and prevent small things from spiraling into big things.
In the South, we aerate our turf annually. Our clay soil compacts easily. This prevents water from being absorbed properly (creating more runoff and possible overflow of the pond) and potentially adds more pollutants to the pond as well. Make sure your soil is not overly compacted. Again, a professional landscape management company can monitor this for you and recommend treatment when necessary.
Hire a Pond Maintenance Company
A certified retention pond specialist is a professional who is trained in pond maintenance and familiar with all the regulations and requirements for retention ponds. They will monitor the water quality, and inspect all the components and structures of the ponds and drainage, and alert you when changes, maintenance or repairs are necessary. They are able to prevent an easily remedied issue from turning into a big, costly problem. A retention pond maintenance company will work in conjunction with your landscape maintenance company to ensure your pond’s success and the beauty of your common area. Good maintenance practices will deter expensive future repairs and fines.
Navigating the rules and regulations for retention pond maintenance yourself is difficult, and the repercussions of getting it wrong are costly. Hire the right professionals— a certified retention pond specialist and a good landscape maintenance company—to maintain the pond and surrounding area and you will be able to rest assured that your pond is doing its job and complying with regulations.
Located in Summerfield, NC Southern Exposure Landscape Management specializes in the design, installation, and maintenance of residential and commercial projects throughout the Greensboro Triad Area (High Point, Jamestown, Burlington, Reidsville, Oak Ridge, Brown Summit, Summerfield). We are the premier Greensboro mulch installer. With over 20 years in business, Southern Exposure has the experience and knowledge to create beautiful garden features and flower beds in the landscape. Southern Exposure is the leading landscape management firm in Greensboro, NC. See why our clients choose us. Contact us today by web (online form) or phone (336.451.4969)