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The City of Brighton Stormwater Division performs semi-annual post-construction inspections of certain private drainage structures. The City notifies property owners about inspections and/or the need for maintenance of the structure(s). The City then works with property owners to familiarize them with their system and how to best maintain it. If a particular system does not meet Brighton’s maintenance standards, the property owners will be notified of needed routine or non-routine maintenance by letter. Upon notification, the property owner will be responsible for completing the necessary maintenance.
Designation of a responsible party is important to assure proper operation of ponds. In some instances this may be a shared responsibility. In the majority of cases, the commercial property owner or the HOA is responsible for the correct operation and proper maintenance of the pond. Some ponds may be eligible for maintenance by the City of Brighton or South Beebe Draw Metropolitan District. In other cases, Mile High Flood District (MHFD) may accept maintenance responsibilities for regional ponds or channels.
Stormwater runoff is a significant source of water pollution in urbanizing areas. In addition, the increased volumes of flow resulting from added impervious areas during urbanization results in increased runoff volumes. Detention ponds mitigate both scenarios in providing a treatment basin for pollutant removal as well as a collection basin to detain the larger flows and thus reduce the peak runoff rates downstream. Properly maintained detention ponds can be very effective at removing certain pollutants and providing necessary storage volumes during larger storm events. Improperly maintained ponds can increase the discharge of pollutants downstream, increase the risk of flooding downstream, increase the instability of downstream channels, and lead to aesthetic and nuisance problems.
Routine HOA maintenance, like mowing and debris removal, is vital to the proper operation of the detention pond, and needs to be done on a frequent basis. Non-routine HOA maintenance, like slope stabilization and sediment removal, will probably be more on an annual basis. Every pond is different in the size, type and characteristics of the tributary area that contributes runoff to the pond, as well as the location of the pond within the development. A pond serving a large commercial district will likely require more maintenance than one serving an established neighborhood, and a pond in a prominent location in the development will require more frequent collection of trash. Maintenance considerations for a wet pond will need to focus on floating litter, scum and algal blooms, shoreline erosion, possible unpleasant odors and mosquitoes, as well as more difficult sediment removal. Maintenance considerations for a dry pond will concentrate more on mowing to control the vegetation and frequent removal of the trash, debris and clippings that may clog the outlet/trash rack. Maintenance will always be needed; if maintenance is not done, or not done frequently enough, or properly, a false sense of security exists for the pond’s temporary storage abilities during a large storm event, and its pollutant removal abilities during a typical runoff event. Routine maintenance includes:
Non-routine maintenance includes:
The property owner or the HOA will need to establish an Operation and Maintenance (O&M) fund and assess annual fees for maintenance. Typically, fees are established by the developer prior to turning the responsibility of the pond over to the owner. After several years of operation with these set fees, it may be necessary to re-evaluate maintenance costs for the actual operation of the pond after the development is established. Maintenance costs depend on both the type and condition of the existing system. An excellent source of information about pond maintenance costs is MHFD.