Stormwater Management Pond – Lemon or Lemonade?

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Geoscape provides expertise in pond development, helping turn regular ponds into sustainable water features that sometimes become the heart of a community. In this post, we consider the benefits of creating an eye-catching water feature with stormwater management ponds. With proper attention to design, landscaping can turn these features from lemons into lemonade throughout Markham and the GTA (Greater Toronto Area).

Starting Early on Stormwater Management Pond Design
Geoscape recommends an early start when designing a stormwater management pond. Ponds often begin as temporary sediment basins during construction and then are converted to their final design once the site is constructed. Unless requested otherwise, contractors tend to use a rectangular shape for these basins. Rectangular shaped ponds look less attractive then ponds with circular or oval shapes. Among the most attractive pond shapes are those that follow the natural contours of the land. For more information on stormwater management pond design, see the Ontario Ministry of Environment Stormwater Management Planning and Design Manual. These considerations apply to many types of stormwater management facilities, including wet ponds, dry ponds, and stormwater wetlands.

Pond Design and Landscaping Creates Stunning Variety
More detailed pond grading creates a more attractive pond. Geoscape recommends adding a flat shallow area, or shelf, that provides more planting surface. When it rains, these vegetative shelves will flood temporarily, creating the perfect habitat for wetland plants, which will add variety to the landscape.

The land around the pond can also be designed for public access including flat areas for benches, walking trails, pathways, and other features. In doing so, the space serves multiple purposes and frees up land for more profitable uses.

Stormwater Management Pond Safety Considerations
Consider the maintenance requirements of a stormwater management pond when choosing your landscaping approach. On some sites, pond managers avoid woody vegetation, like trees, on earthworks to avoid the possibility of trees uprooting, which can compromise pond safety. Consult with pond vegetation experts for a pond planting plan that ensures long-term safety.

Once you understand the safety needs of your stormwater management pond, plan for landscaping and the use of trees and shrubs where appropriate. Landscaping will enhance the pond area and create a valuable water feature for your site. Drought resistant, native trees and shrubs can reduce maintenance needs by ensuring long-term survivability as well as minimize the need for pesticide and fertilizer. Strategically placed trees and shrubs will mask outlet pipes or other infrastructure for a seamless look.

Options for Beautifying a Stormwater Management Pond
Consider your site’s beauty at all scales. As a landscape feature, a pond’s landscaping should be planned to look beautiful at a distance as well as up close.

Looking for a little more lemonade? Consider adding a fountain to your pond design. Visitors to your site will enjoy the peaceful sounds of the running water. A fountain will also help keep the pond biology stable and prevent algal blooms. Geoscape can assist with the selection and design of a fountain or similar device.

Custom Stormwater Management Pond Design
Stormwater management ponds are common features on development sites throughout the City of Markham and the GTA. Every site is different, and sometimes space constraints require a rectangular design or less desirable placement of a pond. At Geoscape, we strive for the best possible finishing landscape solutions given site-specific conditions. We believe it is important to work closely with site developers, engineers, and property owners to determine the best approach while balancing multiple uses.

Geoscape specializes in stormwater management pond finishing. Regardless of the size or shape of a pond, with a fleet of earth moving equipment we’ll provides accurate, efficient, and safe pond landscape construction. For more details on our earth moving services, see our earthworks page. We also offer municipal and commercial clients a native plant nursery with low maintenance trees and shrubs for stormwater management pond landscaping.

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Geoscape Team