Let us fashion a brand-new pond for you and give you that quintessential Washington view from your kitchen window. Or how about a pond that serves as a watering hole for your livestock? Or your own personal fishing pond?
Ponds are great because they are so versatile and fun. They can be functional, recreational, a joy to look at or all three at once. We can dig a pond to the dimensions you specify, build dirt up to create a berm, clean silt out of an older pond, repair an older pond, and more.
Whether you need a detention pond or a retention pond depends mostly on personal preference and what your needs are. Do you want to have an area that is always holding water? Then a retention pond is what you need. Or do you need water to slowly soak back into the ground after collecting in the pond? In that case, you’ll want a detention pond.
That’s the main difference between the two: retention ponds hold water indefinitely (they retain or permanently hold the water), while detention ponds act like a temporary storage area for rainwater to prevent flooding (they detain or temporarily hold the water).
Both are useful for large areas of land that experience poor drainage after rainfall. With the land around the pond graded in such a way that the water naturally flows toward it, detention and retention ponds collect large amounts of water and reduce flooding and erosion. A retention pond can be maintained as a “living” pond with fish and aquatic plants, so long as there is enough rainfall to keep it full of a minimum amount of water. A detention pond can be part of a natural irrigation plan, holding back rainwater and slowly releasing it into the ground, acting much like a berm.
The cost of your detention pond project (or the cost of your retention pond, of course) depends on a few factors such as the size of the pond and the location where it will be dug. However, in many cases if the water from a pond is being repurposed, the pond will pay for itself very quickly. You will have access to hundreds of gallons of free water every time it rains, which can be used as a watering hole for your livestock or to water your crops. And that’s nothing to sneeze at, since water isn’t cheap! Ponds meant to decrease flooding or to control storm water can also save money in flood damage repair. In short, a retention or detention pond is a sound investment. Contact us for a custom estimate.
In order to make the most of your pond, it needs to be placed in an area that has an appropriate water source and drainage area, as well as the correct soil type.
First, the drainage area needs to be assessed to help determine the size of the pond. The drainage area refers to the amount of surface area (in terms of acres or square miles) that feeds rainwater into the pond. If the drainage area is too large, the pond will easily overflow. If the drainage area is too small, the pond might dry up too easily.
Rainwater isn’t the only source of water that can fill a pond, and the other sources need to be considered as well. If the water table in the area is generally high, a pond can be dug in a low-lying area and naturally stay as full as the water table. However, one of the more common sources of water for a pond is overland drainage, which means that the pond is placed in a low-lying area because water will automatically flow downhill into the pond.
The surrounding land doesn’t have to naturally lead to a convenient spot for a pond, though. The surrounding area can be manipulated to divert water flow, essentially guiding rain water into the pond. This is the perfect solution to many areas that flood easily after rain.
Finally, the soil structure needs to be analyzed for impermeability. To maintain a retention or recreational pond, the soil needs to prevent water from passing through. Water will be lost through evaporation anyway, but if the soil isn’t right, it will be like having a pool that has sprung a leak. It will be impossible to keep the water at a certain level. On the other hand, if you want to have a detention pond, which will hold the water temporarily but eventually allow the water to pass through, an impermeable soil is inappropriate. Generally, a soil that is mostly clay is best for maintaining water levels, whereas soils with a greater sand composition are useful for detention ponds. If the soil on site is not correct, it can be amended, although bringing dirt in from outside is just as practical.