Adding plants to stormwater ponds and detecting and controlling problems early can improve their beauty, community value and stormwater treatment capacity.
Thousands of stormwater ponds have been installed capture and treat stormwater runoff generated through development. Most are installed for the purpose of meeting state or local requirements, which are intended to protect water quality. They capture and retain stormwater runoff after it rains, and then release it slowly over time. This process allows some of the pollutants in the water, including sediment and nutrients, to settle out or be removed by the plants or microbes within the pond.
Most ponds are designed to meet minimum regulatory requirements, without regard for their value as landscape features. Pond maintenance is often neglected, leading to undesirable conditions and appearance. Design modifications that include adding plants, and early detection and control of problems, can improve the beauty, community value and stormwater treatment capacity of the ponds. (2013) NC Sea Grant and NCSU Bio&Ag Engineering.