Gulf Breeze, FL: Liz Pavelick sent us this great description of the workings of stormwater ponds. We are quoting her directly in this post: “I mentioned before that the peninsula we live on is nothing more than an ancient sand bar. There were natural wetlands all over the peninsula. We purchased our 1 1/5 acre lot in 2002. At a meeting in 2014 a man from the area stated that all the high and dry land had been purchased and developed years ago and now they were starting to fill in and develop the low lying areas that would flood.
Almost every subdivision that goes in clear cuts the entire tract of land. Then developers are required to put in an "engineered" stormwater pond. Some are wet ponds (always full of water) and others are dry ponds that will hold rainwater. The problem is that many of these ponds are failing and causing flooding issues to the new subdivision or to preexisting neighborhoods.
I've attached pictures of three "engineered" stormwater ponds. The first is a pond that is being put in next to a newly constructed series of storage units. The neighborhood on the other side of the storage units has been experiencing flooding for years and did not want the storage units to go in. They were told this new pond would help. You can see there is no "dirt" in the hole it is just sand. It is still "under construction".
The second picture is a stormwater pond that was put in a subdivision years ago and failed. They now have to replace all the underground pipes, made the pond bigger and will redirect the water to an existing natural pond which feeds into the Santa Rosa Sound. Still "under construction".
The third is an engineered pond that failed in a DSLD Homes development and flooded a pre-existing neighbor. Because the County took over ownership of the pond from DSLD Homes, the County now has to put in drainage ditch easements behind several homes to fix the issue. They have not started on this project yet.
We have had many "engineered" ponds fail, these are only 3 examples. Santa Rosa County is responsible for the maintenance of 350+ stormwater ponds. There is no set schedule for maintenance of these ponds.”