Stormwater Ponds

In an effort to help improve water quality in the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries, the States bordering the bay developed a series of Best Management Practices (BMPs). One BMP is the construction of stormwater basins to trap runoff prior to reaching the receiving waters. There are two types of stormwater basins; Detention Basins (dry ponds) which detain the water for a short period of time allowing sediment and pollutants to settle out, and Retention Basins (wet ponds) which retain (hold) runoff water after storm events. Retention Basins are designed to allow sediment to settle out and typically incorporate a shallow aquatic bench around the perimeter. This bench is then planted with a variety of aquatic plants which help remove excess nutrients, provide wildlife habitat and improve the aesthetics of the pond.

Each of the border States have developed similar guidelines and present them in a State specific stormwater management handbook. These handbooks list several different BMPs and provide guidance on creating, planting and maintaining the aquatic bench in the stormwater ponds. The handbooks also provide guidance on creating a stormwater wetland which is designed to absorb excess water during storm events, treat the water through several naturally occurring chemical and biological processes and gradually release the treated water back into an adjacent natural waterway.

Typically, any development or project which disturbs more than 1 acre of land will need to incorporate some sort of stormwater BMP. The larger the land disturbance and the larger the area of post construction impermeable surface will determine the extent of stormwater management required.

A property owner building a new home; an industry looking to expand warehouse space a municipality creating more open space for recreation or a State DOT performing roadway improvements are all examples of developments that may need to incorporate a stormwater pond in their construction plans. Emerald Forest can help with the acquisition of aquatic plants, installation of plants and protecting those plants during the early years of establishment.

Aquatic plants are a preferred food source for local waterfowl which can destroy a new planting in a short period of time. Emerald Forest helped develop a form waterfowl exclusion fencing that we can install while the plants become established and remove the fence after one or two growing seasons. Please don’t hesitate to call us to discuss the specific requirements of your project.

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