Why is there a little pond in My Neighborhood? 

You have probably seen a small pond in your neighborhood – especially if it is a relatively new neighborhood.  Why is it there and what does it do?

When it rains, the downfall soaks into grassy areas and woodlands.  But impermeable areas, covered by cement, asphalt, or even hardened soil, allow that rainfall to run off to somewhere.  Usually that is down the storm sewer drains in the street.  If it would rain heavily, or for an extended period of time, that water could back up in the streets and cause flooding.  In addition, rainwater collects pollutants such as motor oil and carries them directly into Lake Erie.  Storm water does not pass through a water filtration plant as sanitary sewer lines do.

So in order to prevent both possible flooding and the transfer of pollutants into the Lake, newer residential areas have small ponds situated somewhere in the housing development.  They can be wet ponds, where there is a continual amount of water in them, or dry ponds, where they are empty until filled by rainfall runoff.  Both serve the same function and are usually less than one acre in size.

These ponds allow excess rainfall to go from the storm sewer lines into the pond and then be released under controlled amount as to preclude any flooding.  Also, when the water is collected in the ponds, many polluting sediments drop to the bottom of the ponds and are not passed on to Lake Erie.  Vegetation in these ponds helps in this cleaning process.  These ponds provide water quantity and quality control.

Homeowner Associations own these ponds and are responsible to manage, maintain, and do periodic maintenance. Safety is the paramount concern, especially for young children. Residents must ensure that litter is removed from the ponds and all inlet and outlet pipes are clear of debris.  Any vegetation must be trimmed and mosquito breeding areas sprayed.  Periodic sediment monitoring and possible removal must also be conducted.  These measures will ensure that the ponds operate as designed:  residential flooding can be avoided and Lake Erie pollution can be minimized.  For questions on creating a maintenance plan they should call Joseph Reitz, Public Works Director at 440-930-4101.

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