The rules and regulations of stormwater management including stormwater software usage were formalized in the 90s, derived from the Clean Water Act. Though lots of things have changed and keep changing in stormwater management, understanding what your stormwater pond was created to do and its design parts, or elements, are, essential to knowing and executing a pond management or sustainable maintenance program for your commercial facility, community, or personal property.


Presently, progressively more management is implemented with varying BMPs like infiltration basins, bio-swales, bio-infiltration areas, as well as rain gardens, but you will still see lots of management ‘dry’ detention basins or ‘wet’ ponds. The ponds are created to collect water, capture pollutants and sediment, and then slowly release the water to imitate runoff from the site prior to development. In addition to functioning as management facilities, the ponds are frequently designed as essential features in communities too. The majority of the ponds feature similar basic parts like;


Pond embankment

Usually, stormwater ponds feature an embankment that surrounds them. Part or all of it acts similar to a dam to retain water in the pond. It’s normally sloped and should be stabilized with grasses and herbaceous vegetation. Animal burrowing, large trees, and exposed soils could result in erosion and the failure of the embankment. It is to prevent this failure that some forward-thinking individuals have designed the now popular and varied stormwater management software that we get in different variety, to use in monitoring such ponds. Some sort of beneficial vegetative buffer could also be enabled to grow. Buffers help in reducing nutrient and sediment loading in the pond while offering much greater stabilization for the embankment. Buffers could comprise herbaceous vegetation and should be kept free of invasive trees and species.


Outlet structure

These structures are created to collect and release water from the pond at varying rates according to the quantity of runoff or volume of rain. They presently come mostly as concrete structures, but older ponds could feature galvanized steel structures or any other types of varying pipe risers. Outlet structures could also feature trash-racks on the pond’s low flow – bottom orifice – and the overflow – the top of the structure. Trash racks must be kept in place and secured. Outlets and their related trash-racks must be kept free of debris, trash and vegetation. They must also be checked for leaks or any structural weaknesses that might jeopardize the system’s functions.



This is an area, a pipe most times, that transports runoff from the property and immediate paved areas to the pond. These are normally concrete, galvanized steel or high-strength plastic. There are rip-rap (stone) dissipaters or aprons created to decrease runoff velocity where inlets enter ponds. This is aimed at preventing erosion and to catch debris and sediment before they enter the pond. The rip-rap must also be free of vegetation and truly checked for sediment or erosion buildup.


Invasive vegetation, sediment, or erosion must be truly monitored at inlet areas even if it means using stormwater software. This is as they can end in drainage problems and decrease the pond’s lifespan. Read More: