Tuesday, June 2, 2009

We have retention ponds in our Woodlands Parks

Ponds are one of our greatest assets here in The Woodlands. They have such diversity in their waters and shores. Making them better is a goal of the superintendent of the parks system. I have taken this for granted lately. Sometimes it is good to reflect some and consider the purpose of an amenity. I once called one pond here a "retention pond" to someone I know, just out of normal conversation. I had a counter response "That is not a retention pond, it is a detention pond." I have to admit, that threw me a curve ball. For years, subdivisions have been building "retention" ponds to meet state requirements for water runoff management. That is the only term I ever heard for these ponds. So I researched this topic, not wanting to use the wrong word for one of these ponds, even in casual conservation. The difference is fairly subtle. Ours are all retention ponds, not detention ponds. But there are detention ponds in some Texas locations. A detention pond can be wet or dry, but its function is strictly to slow down the runoff of water. Because our ponds have vegetation and hold water permanently, ours are considered retention ponds, as they filter and break down the pollutants in the water by natural biological processes, and hold water as a habitat for living organisms. Retention ponds are designed to hold water, slow down water runoff and be a natural habitat for plants and other living organisms. Ours do serve both purposes - retention and detention but technically have the attributes of a "retention" pond. 1 Each day we can appreciate more about this place and its master plan.

1Retention vs Detention

1 comment:

Yao Wan said...

may I ask if there is any kind of phosphorus contamination in the retention ponds? if so, how do you treat the problems? any funding applicable to retention pond treatment projects?