Detention Pond Maintenance Best Practices

Should you maintain your detention ponds regularly? In short, yes.  

Ponds need to be supported with some regularity if you intend to keep the pond operating as expected and if you want to mitigate costly issues down the road. 

Detention and retention pond maintenance repair has become a big topic of conversation because they are among the most targeted compliance issues outside of ADA with local municipalities. They also help slow down runoff, contain sediment, collect trash, and remove pollutants, all leading to reduced issues from local officials.

In addition, they offer an opportunity to add and retain a little bit of nature as your property develops. Below are some insider maintenance best practices to protect and repair your pond assets. 

Don't Neglect Your Ponds

Ponds are highly effective at moving storm runoff at the speed and direction desired by the property owner and their surrounding neighbors. In addition, these specialized ponds present a natural feel to the property and provide a great place to enjoy your property’s aesthetics. 

Unfortunately, if you fail to plan adequately, design, and engineer your detention pond, you might end up with unwanted repairs as the property ages. Initially, when planning out the details of your pond, you must first choose the correct location.  

Typically, people tend to build ponds in the back of a property or some other “out-of-sight” location. Most people want it to perform its duty, but some assume it to be an unattractive feature. Thus, most like it out of sight.  

However, it most often gets neglected when it’s out-of-site because out of sight often leads to out of mind. 

It All Adds Up to Your Overall Costs

When you deny your pond the most basic maintenance requirements, like trash and litter removal, simple landscaping, sediment removal, and slope stabilization, it often falls short of its primary job— managing your stormwater.  

Bringing a neglected pond to standard can become a considerable expense, as well as an environmental challenge. Breakdowns within the pond and damages to downstream properties can run you hundreds of thousands of dollars.  

Additionally, you might face some fines from local government entities. So, it’s best that you build your pond where it can not only serve its purpose but also install it where it’s easily remembered and seen.   

Benefits of a Routine

On the other hand, you can avoid unnecessary costs and municipality scrutiny by simply implementing regular inspections or maintenance checks. 

Doing regular inspections performed by a stormwater management professional can make all the difference. The inspector will catch and assess failures and repairs early in your pond’s development and can help lower expensive maintenance over time, versus you waiting until someone downstream has property damage due to your failed pond. 

Basic Checklist

What does a professional look for when performing an inspection? 

  • Clogging or obstructions  
  • Trash, debris, or excessive sediment 
  • Erosion on the slopes or headwall 
  • Excessive vegetation  
  • Invasive species 
  • Clear and open channels 
  • Condition of infiltration devices (pumps or flood gates) 
  • Condition of inlet and outlet pipes 
  • State of the surrounding landscape 


Maintaining your detention pond is not complicated. It just needs to be done right and right on time. 

The benefit of maintenance is a low-cost and often desirable stormwater management feature that will work for you and your properties for years to come. 


Ferrandino & Son, Inc. delivers commercial stormwater management services to multi-site portfolios across the country. To learn more about Ferrandino & Son, visit or email us at