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    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

    Stormwater Management Facility Parts

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Aug 25, 2015

    Written by Industry Expert, J. Wesley Allen, Environmental Scientist

    Aquamaster_5hp_Classic_Biscayne_Laurel_Park_Concord_NC_Matt_P_eStormwater management rules and regulations were formalized in the 1990’s, developing from the Clean Water Act. While a lot of things have changed and continue to change in stormwater management, being informed on what your stormwater pond is designed to do and what its design elements, or parts, are, is key to understanding and implementing a sustainable maintenance and pond management program for your community, property, or commercial facility.

    Today, more and more stormwater management is done with a variety of Best Management Practices (BMPs), such as infiltration basins, bio-infiltration areas, bio-swales, and rain gardens, but we still see a large number of stormwater management “wet” ponds or “dry” 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 before development. These ponds not only function as stormwater management facilities, but are often designed as key features in communities. Most of these ponds have similar basic parts:

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    Topics: Stormwater BMPs

    Stormwater Pond Restoration

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Aug 11, 2015

    AS SEEN IN Quorumtm, a publication of Washington Metropolitan Chapter, Community Associations Institute: Written by Industry Expert Shannon Junior, Aquatic Ecologist, SOLitude Lake Management

    Stormwater_Pond_Restoration_Junior_cLike all physical features of our communities, stormwater management facilities require ongoing maintenance to preserve their structural, functional, and aesthetic integrity. These features are designed to mitigate flooding hazards, as well as to remove sediment, nutrients, and other pollutants from stormwater runoff to protect downstream water resources. Their very function contributes to their impairment as these materials build up within the basins. Even when they are well maintained and functioning properly, stormwater management facilities will require periodic restoration activities that can be extremely expensive.

    If you have a stormwater management facility in your community, it is important to ensure that copies of the design and/or as-built plans are available. These documents contain essential information regarding the original grading and depth contours of the facility, the configuration and elevation of the outlet structure and normal pool water level, and the location of inlet structures to the pond. The maintenance agreement for the facility should also be on file, which outlines the specific maintenance responsibilities of the community. If the homeowners association does not have copies of these documents, they can be obtained from the site engineer or developer, or from the city or county stormwater regulatory agency.

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    Topics: Published Articles, Stormwater BMPs

    Lake and Stormwater Management Trends

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   May 26, 2015

    AS SEEN IN Quorum, Washington Metropolitan Chapter, Community Associations InstituteWritten by Industry Expert Shannon Junior, Aquatic Ecologist, SOLitude Lake Management

    01.15_Quorom_Lake_Stormwater_Management_Page_1_ShannonJunior_eAs our urban and suburban landscapes become more densely populated, it is inevitable that the amount of impervious drainage area is increasing, thus contributing to increase flow rates and larger volumes of stormwater runoff. As the runoff flows over impervious surfaces, it picks up numerous pollutants such as sediment, nutrients, oil and grease, litter, heavy metals and pesticides, which adversely affect the water quality and habitat value of downstream aquatic resources. The Clean Water Act (CWA) was passed in 1972 to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of our nation's waters and it is the primary Federal law that regulates water pollution in the United States. The Environmental Protection Agency expanded the CWA in 1987 to require that municipalities obtain permits under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) for the discharge of stormwater runoff. Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) were established, which are the maximum amount of pollutants that a water body can safely receive while still meeting water quality standards. The implementation and ongoing maintenance of stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs) have become critical not only for compliance with TMDLs, but also to reduce erosion and mitigate flood damage.

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    Topics: Stormwater BMPs

    Advantages of Stormwater Inspections for Lakes and Ponds

    by: Justin Phillips   |   Jan 11, 2013

    advantages of stormwater inspectionsOwners of lakes or ponds, whether for residential or commercial purposes, can benefit from annual inspections performed by a reputable lake management company. Thorough inspections that look into water quality, pest control, and the health of the surrounding environment prove beneficial in maintaining the landscape surrounding any body of water in that they help the property owner determine the cost of future enhancements and treatments. Anticipation of problems like erosion, for example, allow for actions that could save money in the long run. Stormwater inspections especially help in identifying problems that, if left ignored, could damage the ecosystem.

    After a lengthy rain or hard storm, your first inclination may be to check your property for changes in the soil or debris that requires removal. Over time, rains can contribute to erosion and damage to beneficial vegetation that should be fixed before problems become too much to handle. If rains result in higher water levels than is normal for your property, there is the possibility an outflow device used to maintain balance is faulty and requires repair.

    Inspections of lakes and ponds after bad weather, or at regular intervals, will alert you to anomalies on your property. If your grounds are not mowed properly, for example, it could lead to problems with ground cover such as soil erosion and issues with vegetation growth. It's also important for your lake management team to check structures that control water release from your lake or pond to ensure that there is nothing clogging the system.

    A proactive approach to such inspections is the best way to determine improvements to your pond water. A stagnant body of water is likely to attract pests and pose damage to surrounding vegetation and aquatic life. After a storm, if nothing is done to clean the area you will find more challenges in restoring your lake to its true beauty.
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    Topics: Stormwater BMPs

    Water World: Managing the Depths

    by: Tracy King   |   Jun 18, 2012

    AS SEEN IN Minutes, Community Associations Institute, May/June 2012: Written by Julie Warren, Minutes Editor

    The_Greenlands_1_Summer_Scenic_AquaMaster_Fountain__York_County_VA__Kyle_Finerfrock__2013_cWhile most residents may be mainly interested in the appearance of their community's lake or pond, water features are more than just a charming view.

    According to Kevin Tucker, president of Solitude Lake Management, “Lakes and ponds are usually designed to collect and filter stormwater before that water flows into streams, rivers and bays.”

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    Topics: Published Articles, Stormwater BMPs

    National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit Is Here

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   May 24, 2012

    AS SEEN IN Quorum, Washington Metropolitan Chapter, Community Associations Institute, May 2012: Written by Industry Expert Shannon Junior, Aquatic Ecologist 

    For more information visit the Environmental Protection Agency's web site. 

    community_pond_with_fountainAfter many years of judicial and legislative battling, the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit for aquatic pesticide applications has been finalized and went into effect Oct. 31, 2011. If you manage a community with a pond, lake or stormwater best management practices (BMP), then there is a high probability that this new permit will directly affect your community. NPDES is the primary federal legislation that regulates point source pollution to the waters of the U.S. Although aquatic pesticide applications were previously exempt from this permitting requirement, recent judicial reinterpretation of the law has mandated that the residues resulting from these applications should be regulated within the same framework as other water pollutants. So basically, if you own or manage a community with a pond, then you will be responsible for making sure that all pesticide applications related to the pond meet the requirements of the new permit. Some of the activities that will be regulated under this permit include algae and weed treatments in the water, shoreline vegetation control and mosquito control. And the most important part of this new law is that as a decision-maker or financier for the applications, the community is just as liable for permit compliance as the applicator.

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    Topics: Published Articles, Stormwater BMPs

    SOLitude Assists Delaware Church with Annual Project

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Mar 30, 2012

    Written by Industry Expert John Phelps, Environmental Scientist

    Brandywine Valley Baptist ChurchOn Saturday March 24th, SOLitude Lake Management attended the Brandywine Valley Baptist Church parishioner spring clean-up day. Volunteers came out to clean and make repairs to their church, tend to the landscaping needs and address the annual maintenance requirements of the stormwater BMP facilities on the property. The church, located in Wilmington Delaware, has a small bio-retention basin in the front of the property and a series of three sand filters in the rear parking lot.

    SOLitude Lake Management was there to educate the Church Maintenance Committee and parishioner of the different types of stormwater facilities found on the property, the design and functionality of each and the specific maintenance needs of those facilities. SŌLitude Lake Management also took a “hands on” approach to the specific maintenance for the bio-retention basin and the sand filters. Leaves and sediment was removed from the bio-retention basin and then a fresh top dress of mulch was applied. Sand within the sand chambers was agitated to allow better infiltration and sediment was removed from within and around the BMP.

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    Topics: The SOLution, Stormwater BMPs

    The St. George Technical High School Project

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Mar 28, 2012

    describe the imageBy Industry Expert John Phelps,
    Environmental Scientist

    The St. George Technical High School located in Middletown, Delaware had a bioretention stormwater management facility was not functioning properly and needed multiple remediation services to bring it back to its as-built design. The 0.30 acre facility had problems from construction. The sediment forebay was installed improperly with the bottom elevation lower than the original design. One of the main drain pipes which connected the facility’s under drains to the outfalls was damaged during installation and an excessive
    describe the imageamount of sediment and sand had entered the facility’s main bio basin and had clogged up much of the bio soil which prevented proper infiltration. Due to the existing deficiencies, the facility became overgrown with vegetation which further prevented the system from functioning properly.

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    Topics: Stormwater BMPs