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    6 Tips to Maximize the Efficiency of Your Stormwater Facility

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Nov 07, 2019

    Greg clearing outflow-3-1

    Written by Greg Blackham, Aquatic Specialist 

    As the growing season comes to an end, this is the perfect time to think about having your stormwater pond or management facility inspected, and scheduling for any necessary maintenance or repairs. Sediment removal, pipe repair and other remediation efforts can all be done in the off season to help you prepare the facility for the coming year. This is also the ideal time to budget for any work that is needed in the coming year. 

    Here are the top six things SOLitude’s aquatic management professionals consider when it comes to maximizing the efficiency of your stormwater management facility.

    #1: The strength and integrity of the outlet structure.
    It’s important to discover cracked concrete and other visible signs of damage as soon as possible. All grates should be cleaned and checked for debris and sediment blockage. If the facility has a low flow orifice, it needs to be free and open. The low flow orifice lets the water drain slowly after rain so that the suspended particles have time to settle. If the outlet structure has a concrete box, nothing should be present that may impede the flow of water. Signs of erosion should be checked for above where the structure meets the pipe. This is often an indicator of a gap in the seal and the beginning of a sinkhole.

    #2: Functionality of emergency spillways.
    In the event of heavy rainfall over a short period, debris can quickly block the outlet structure before anyone has a chance to clear it. An emergency

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    Topics: Pond Management Best Practices, Stormwater BMPs

    What Exactly Is Stormwater Runoff?

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Oct 09, 2018


    Written by Industry Expert Jason Luce, Lake Management Scientist

    Have you ever wondered what happens to a single drop of water when it rains? Depending upon where you live, that drop of water may land on the ground and seep into the soil or it may land on a leaf and evaporate back into the atmosphere. But, if you live in a developed area such as a city or HOA community, the fate of that droplet of water may be a rooftop, sidewalk or road and eventually a lake or stormwater pond. As development increases, so does stormwater runoff. Stormwater runoff is the portion of rainfall or snowmelt that “runs off” the landscape instead of seeping into the ground. When managed incorrectly, stormwater runoff can become a major problem.

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    Topics: Pond Management Best Practices, Stormwater BMPs

    Utilize Buffer Zones as a Preventative Pond Maintenance Tool

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Jun 04, 2018


    Written by Industry Expert Daniel Hood, Wildlife & Fisheries Scientist

    I have always been a fan of Benjamin Franklin’s saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Lake and pond management is a perfect example of this advice; preventing water quality problems at their source is often the most effective measure to help achieve long-term aquatic health. Community managers, golf course superintendents and private landowners interested in becoming more proactive in their maintenance approach may be intimidated by the many environmental variables and aquatic management strategies available to them. However, an easy and effective place to start is by creating and maintaining a shoreline buffer of native vegetation around their waterbody. 

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    Topics: Buffer Management, Stormwater BMPs

    Stormwater Management in HOAs and Community Associations

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   May 17, 2018


    AS SEEN IN WMCCAI May 2018 issue of Quorum Magazine: Written by Industry Expert Shannon Junior, Aquatic Ecologist 

    For Community Managers, adding a new property to the portfolio can be both exciting and stressful. Ideally, the community will have an experienced Board that gets along well and supports a common agenda. The developer or the previous management company will have kept adequate, organized records, and the transition to new management will go very smoothly and will include all of the pertinent documents. Or . . .

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    Topics: Pond Management Best Practices, Stormwater BMPs

    SOLitude's 6-Step Guide for Proper Stormwater Pond Management

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Apr 17, 2018

    Floating Fountain

    Written by Industry Expert Kyle Finerfrock, Environmental Scientist

    You may not realize it, but if you live in a heavily-populated area, most waterbodies you see are man-made. While they often provide aesthetic beauty and serve as a small habitat for birds and fish, they are primarily designed to collect stormwater and capture pollutants during rain events. Without these stormwater ponds in place, our communities would suffer from increased flooding, erosion and nutrient pollution. This is why it is critically important to ensure your stormwater pond is functioning properly at all times. Practicing the following proactive management strategies will go a long way in keeping your pond in peak condition:

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    Topics: Pond Management Best Practices, Stormwater BMPs

    Dredging Alternative: Hydro-raking to Increase Stormwater Pond Depth

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Jul 31, 2017

    Written by Industry Expert Emily Walsh, Environmental Scientist

    Mechanical hydro-rakingAs communities continue to expand and infrastructure is heightened, stormwater management is becoming a crucial element in neighborhood planning. Oftentimes, community developers incorporate stormwater retention ponds into their plans to help control runoff during significant rain events. Retention or stormwater ponds look similar to natural ponds, except that their major function is to reduce the risk of flooding as well as filter collected pollutants.

    Urban runoff is led to the pond through a series of stormwater drains leading to underground pipes. The majority of the water is then left within the stormwater BMP, allowing suspended particulates to settle and pollutants to break down through microbial activity and plant uptake. The water is then slowly released from an outflow pipe, positioned higher than the inflow pipe, to a nearby waterbody or stream. This has proven to be an efficient technique, with a detectable decrease in pollutants shown and a natural outflow rate achieved.

    Can hydro-raking be an annual management service?

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    Topics: Pond Management Best Practices, Stormwater BMPs

    Stormwater Management: Key Points to Passing an Inspection

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Jul 10, 2017

    Written by Industry Expert Trent Nelson, Aquatic Specialist

    Stormwater ManagementStormwater management facilities are man-made structures that help reduce flooding, slow down water flow and clean pollutants from water. It is important to ensure that your stormwater management facilities are functioning properly, especially when it rains.

    Stormwater inspections can vary depending on the state and even municipality in which your stormwater BMP or stormwater control measure (SCM) resides and with newer legislation, strengthened by the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System, compliance is critical for many property owners and managers. Most inspections follow similar guidelines when determining whether or not the stormwater system is in compliance. The following are a few important key points to help you prepare—and hopefully pass—your next stormwater inspection.

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    Topics: Regulatory Compliance, Stormwater BMPs

    Pond Management: Keys to Prevention and Early Detection

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Jun 21, 2016

    Written by Industry Expert, J. Wesley Allen, Environmental Scientist and Territory Leader

    Cody_checking_effluent_structure_Linded_Point_Richmond_VA_Brent_W_10.15_e-1.jpgThe comparison I use most often when trying to explain routine lake or pond maintenance and management to people that are unfamiliar is performing maintenance on your car. Your car needs oil changes, tire rotations, and other routine maintenance activities in order to operate correctly. If you ignore these items for too long, and you are looking at a hefty bill or prematurely replacing the car entirely. Performing regular maintenance on your aquatic resource is important and whether that resource is a lake, pond, or stormwater facility, maintenance is the key to avoiding nasty surprises. In aquatic management, an ounce of prevention is often worth a ton of cure. That is why when developing a pond management plan, a comprehensive approach that establishes a routine frequency of inspections and addresses regular maintenance needs is key.

    When SOLitude Lake Management typically begins to work with a client on a management and maintenance program, we stress clear communication. Establishing contacts with all concerned parties is essential to cultivating a successful relationship. With proper communication channels, understanding routine maintenance and responding to any problems is much easier, saving both time and money.

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    Topics: Pond Management Best Practices, Stormwater BMPs

    Taking it Back to the Basics: Stormwater Management Pond Parts

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Apr 22, 2016

    AS SEEN IN Land and Water Magazine, March/April 2016: Written by Industry Expert, J. Wesley Allen, Environmental Scientist & Territory Leader

    Stormwater Management Pond Parts ArticleExperienced water quality management professionals spend years meeting with hundreds of individuals, homeowner’s associations, commercial facilities and property managers. The largest challenge to overcome is educating the waterbody owner or manager. Stormwater management rules and regulations are a fairly new phenomenon, developed from the Clean Water Act. While certain regulations continue to evolve in stormwater management, educating any potential or current client on a stormwater facility’s function and specific design elements or parts is important. An educated client will be equipped to understand and implement a sustainable maintenance and management program or a repair/remediation program for their community, property or commercial site.

    Today, more and more stormwater management is implemented with a variety of best management practices (BMPs), such as infiltration basins, bio-infiltration areas, bio-swales and rain gardens. However, there are still large numbers of stormwater management “wet” ponds/retention basins and “dry” ponds/detention basins. These ponds are designed to hold water, capture sediment and pollutants and then release the water slowly to mimic run-off from the site prior to any development. Most of these “ponds” or basins have similar basic parts. Explaining these parts or design elements, why they are there, how they function and how they should be maintained, is an important step to developing a mutual understanding with a client before moving forward with a maintenance or repair program.

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    Topics: Pond Management Best Practices, Stormwater BMPs

    Winter Safety Tips From a Pond Management Expert

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Feb 12, 2016

    Written by Industry Expert, Gavin Ferris, Ecologist 

    Fountain_through_ice_3HP_Otterbine_PhillyPA_02.15_GavinF_e.jpgMy cousins, brother, and I watched the old Farmall tractor putter out onto the ice. When it stopped at the center of the farm pond, my uncle climbed down from the seat, walked around, and jumped up and down in a few places. He then struck the ice several times with a golf club, returned to the tractor, and drove back off of the ice. Having supported the weight of the farm tractor and my uncle’s frame, and having withstood the savage blows he rained upon it, the ice was declared to be safe and we were allowed to start skating. I never did ask how he planned to get the tractor out of the pond if the ice had given way.

    Venturing onto a frozen body of water is a dangerous enterprise, and should only be attempted when the ice is known to be thick, strong and solid. Even then, it is imperative to consider liability issues, emergency plans and preparation. Right now, we are seeing temperatures that are colder than usual. As a result, many ponds that usually freeze only lightly, if at all, now have a thick layer of ice over their surfaces. This may seem like an ideal time for neighborhood skating parties and impromptu outdoor hockey games, but I urge you to take extreme caution and think carefully before you let people out onto the ice.

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    Topics: Seasonal Pond Tips, Stormwater BMPs