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The Public Works Department is conducting routine maintenance at several of the City's retention and detention ponds.
Our crew is currently working on cleaning out three dry ponds in Whispering Hollow.
“This is a sediment pond, filtration pond, and then detention pond. The ponds collect sediment over time," said Public Works Employee Mike Lane. "At least every five years you need to start cleaning these things out.” .
Lane works with The Public Works department's storm water division. He is responsible for maintaining all 27 city-owned retention and detention ponds.
“There are only two of us on the storm water crew. We’ve done Whispering Hollows, Elm Grove, Green Meadows, and Stoneridge. All I ask for the public is to have patience. We’ll get everything done and we’re all working very hard for you.”
Instead of contracting out the work in Whispering Hollow, the public works department is doing all the heavy lifting.
“When we calculated what it would cost us to contract this out it would’ve been over $800,000 dollars. As we’re doing it now, we’re maybe looking at $100,000.”
Cleaning out the City's retention and detention ponds can be a long process.
“By removing all of the cattails and trees, this sediment pond will be able to dry out. Next year we’ll be back here to clean all of the sediment out,” said Lane.
You can watch the video version of this story here: Retention and Detention Pond Maintenance Video
What is a Retention Pond? At first glance, a retention pond looks like your average pond. However, they play an important role in controlling storm water runoff. As you are probably well aware, flooding is often a major concern in Central Texas. Residential areas are prone to flooding and must deal with storm water runoff from streets, driveways, walkways, and roofs. Retention ponds are used to hold and distribute rain runoff, which in turn helps prevents flooding.
They are often landscaped with a variety of grasses, shrubs, and/or wetland plants to provide bank stability. The aquatic vegetation in retention ponds helps remove pollutants from nearby neighborhoods that wash into the ponds. The vegetation blocks trash from getting into rivers and streams. Plants, gravel, and sand also helps filter out pollutants from entering waterways and our drinking water.
It is important that the aquatic vegetation is NOT removed or killed at our City-owned ponds.
List of City Owned Ponds: City Owned Ponds
What is a Detention Pond?The main difference between a detention and a retention pond is whether or not it has a permanent pool of water. A detention pond is designed as a “dry pond.” Its purpose is to hold back flood waters and slowly release the water so that creeks and rivers do not become flooded.
Are the City of Buda’s Retention & Detention Ponds Maintained? Yes. Our Public Works department mows and maintains the ponds in compliance with our storm water permits through the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). Public Works has a crew dedicated to maintaining drainage ways and ponds. The ponds are on a routine maintenance schedule. However, rain can impact that schedule as it makes it too muddy to move equipment.
Here is how you can help us keep our retention ponds functioning properly: