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A retention pond is a necessity on many industrial sites across the country. This is where effluent or wastewater is stored and managed to prevent overloading or pollution of the local water table.
Of course, something so important needs to be maintained, but this can be problematic. Learn more about some of the most common retention pond maintenance issues, and how they can be overcome.
In the United States, retention ponds are closely regulated. This makes sense, after all, as the efficacy of these ponds is so important to the local water table and to the broader environment. Each year, your local government authority will conduct an inspection to make sure that your retention pond is fulfilling its intended purpose in the right way, and is remaining up to code.
Retention pond maintenance plays a major role in ensuring that the pond remains up to code. The main problem arises from the fact that these regulations are subject to change.
This is why it is so important to form a solid relationship with your local authority, and to make an active effort to stay on top of changes in regulatory policy. Government bodies are duty-bound to make policy changes public, but it still pays for businesses to make sure they are fully up to date.
The logistics of inspection
The nature of a retention pool makes it difficult to inspect, which in turn makes it difficult to decide what maintenance needs to be carried out.
To sidestep this problem, make sure your business is focused on three things:
1. Monitoring the retention pool
Regular monitoring will give you an indication of how well the pool is performing. Things to check for include:
- Chemical content of the water
- Water levels within the pond
- The health of wetland plants in and around the pond perimeter — these plants help to reduce the amount of pollutants that are absorbed in the water, while also keeping the pond structurally secure
- The condition of the land surrounding the pond — specifically, indicators that any leakage has taken place
2. Recording the expected lifespan of installed components
The structural components of your retention pool were not designed to last forever. As such, they may need to be replaced when they near the limits of their lifespan, reducing the likelihood of any problems.
Keep a record of these expected lifespans, and make sure that retention pond maintenance includes policies of component replacement.
3. Responding to any events that may reduce this lifespan
Any significant trauma to the pond itself, or any extreme weather conditions, can seriously affect the lifespan of the retention pond. Make sure to respond to these events in a timely and effective manner, and to consider whether repair or replacement is required to keep your pool well-maintained.
Buildup of debris
Debris can quickly build up in a retention pond, reducing its capacity and potentially exposing the surrounding area to pollution. It can be difficult to remove debris once it builds up, and this may necessitate dredging.
However, debris buildup can be prevented beforehand by adding aquatic plants to the perimeter of the pond and installing barriers that prevent run-off from surrounding land carrying debris into the pond.
Controlling chemical run-off
While many protective efforts are focused on preventing chemicals entering the water table from the retention pond, it is also important to prevent chemicals entering the water from the surrounding area. Pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers are all commonly used in agriculture and in household gardening. Stormwater run-off can carry these chemicals into the pond, where they can begin to build up.
The plants around the perimeter of the pond can help to prevent this situation, giving you a far easier time when it comes to maintenance. Aerating the turf close to the retention pond is also a good idea, as this will enable the turf to absorb much of these chemicals before they can enter the water.