Storm ponds make for beautiful community landscapes but community storm ponds are a vital part of Calgary’s storm water system. They collect storm water and runoff, and protect our rivers by helping remove sediment, fertilizer, pesticides and other pollutants. They also assist in the very important job of flood prevention; keeping our communities safe.
How do storm ponds work?
Storm ponds serve an important purpose in our city and our communities. Storm ponds work like a naturally occurring wetlands, slowing the flow of water to our rivers, relieving the pressure on the city’s other storm water facilities and improving water quality before the runoff and storm water reaches our streams and rivers. As water sits in storm ponds, sediment, fertilizers, pesticides and other pollutants are separated from the water as they settle at the bottom of the pond; making for cleaner water before it leaves the storm pond and goes to our waterways. Through this process, local waterways are kept free of harmful chemicals and waste to ensure our rivers can be enjoyed by all.
What’s in a storm pond?
Over the course of a season, storm ponds can become full of multiple different substances, but it all starts with storm water. When rain falls, snow melts, or your sprinklers drain down the street, all of that water flows from your home and to a water treatment facility or storm pond. Along that water’s journey, it picks up everything from dirt, salt and gravel, to fertilizer, animal waste and even vehicle waste like gasoline and oil.
With all of those elements contaminating the water, it may look nice, but it’s far from safe to enter!
Storm Pond Safety
Though they may look like a beautiful, but due to their constantly changing levels and often poor water quality, storm ponds are not for recreation. Some important safety tips to remember about the storm ponds in your community are:
Stay out of the water
Keep your pets away from the water
Do not add fish or go fishing in storm ponds
Do not dump garbage in storm ponds
It’s important for the health and safety of yourself and others that you enjoy the view, but let storm ponds do their job.
What can you do to help?
Storm ponds work hard, but there is a lot that you can do to help them keep our waterways clean and safe to enjoy:
Sweep you driveway with a broom instead of spraying it down
Pick up after your pets
Use a car wash to wash your vehicles
Drain your downspouts onto your lawn instead of your sidewalk
Limit pesticide & fertilizer use
Use a rain barrel to collect water and save money on watering plants
Storm ponds are just a part of the process involved with providing our waterways with clean and safe water. As community residents, it is our responsibility to help out and do our part too!
Water is our planet’s most precious resource and storm ponds, like the one in Crestmont West, are an important part of our communities’ water purification process. The next time you’re walking a lap around the beautiful pond in your community, remember; it’s not just for looks, that pond is working hard to keep our water safe and clean for all to enjoy!