Stormwater Management System Operation and Maintenance
Arbor Greene was designed with many stormwater ponds throughout the community for the treatment and storage of stormwater runoff, as well as, buffering between homes. In an effort to maximize the house envelope on each lot, the pond maintenance berms were designed on private property along the rear lot lines within easements given to the Arbor Greene Community Development District (the “CDD”), who is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the ponds. The pond operation and maintenance requirements include:
1) lake management services to control algae and various grasses,
2) water quality compliance with the “wet detention” pond design method,
3) pond slope erosion monitoring and reporting,
4) monitoring of roof drainage connections into ponds, and
4) monitoring and reporting of any pool and/or water conditioner discharges.
The lake management services are performed by a local reputable company that has many years of experience in controlling algae and grasses, and they also understand how the ponds were designed and intended to function. They can assist in creating healthier stormwater ponds with improved water quality resulting in less chemical treatment.
The ponds were designed as “wet detention” ponds which were intended to function similarly to natural wetland systems and provide pollutant filtration through aquatic plants. Currently, many of the ponds do not contain vegetation for this necessary treatment resulting in polluted stormwater being continually discharged downstream into wetlands and other water bodies. Another important thing for residents to understand is that the storm sewer systems that flow into the ponds should be protected against dog waste, chemical, and/or any debris disposal for proper flow and water quality.
District field staff regularly inspects pond slopes for condition and potential for slope erosion. Over many years of inspections, erosion has found to be caused by any combination of the following:
1) regular seasonal fluctuation of the groundwater table,
2) construction methods during the excavation of the ponds,
3) point discharges from pools, water conditioners, and roof drainage,
4) loss of vegetation required to stabilize slopes, and
5) point discharge from side yard swales, particularly from roof drainage.
Tonja L. Stewart, P.E.
Stantec Consulting Services Inc.
Senior Project Manager
Help Protect Our Waterways
Tips for Preventing Water Pollution
- Never dump oils and other chemical from your home directly into stormwater drains, which are direct conduits to your stormwater pond or natural water body. Contact your local government’s waste management department for a list of disposal facilities.
- Keep vehicle tuned up and in good operating condition. Check for drips and repair leaks immediately to keep nuisance oils off pavement.
- Buy low- or no- phosphate cleaners and detergents. Phosphates act as a fertilizer and increase algae and aquatic weeds in stormwater ponds. When these plants die, they rob the water of oxygen and fish may die.
- Wash your vehicles, bicycles and home equipment on the lawn, where soapy water can’t quickly run toward the nearest storm drain, picking up other pollutants as it goes. Wash your car with nontoxic, low-phosphate soap and use water sparingly.
- Sweep walks and driveways instead of hosing them down.
- Clean up pet waste from which nutrients and bacteria can enter the stormwater drains and contaminate the water system.
- Avoid cutting your lawn too short, which reduces its effectiveness in capturing runoff, leaving it taller will help it to survive dry periods.
Chemical Use on Landscape
- Use nontoxic chemical alternatives whenever possible and pull weeds by hand.
- Avoid overuse of fertilizers, especially near the water’s edge. Rain and lawn watering can wash excess fertilizer into water bodies where excess nutrients cause algal blooms (green pond scum) and undesirable weed growth. The University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences recommends using fertilizers with a high percentage of slow-release, the less chance of leaching into Florida’s water bodies. Proper fertilizer application can result in less mowing, fewer nutrients washing into ponds and water bodies, and fewer insects and disease problems.
- Use only herbicides labeled for aquatic use when maintaining stormwater ponds. Herbicides not labeled for aquatic use may harm fish and other aquatic life, and their application to aquatic sites is prohibited by state and federal law.
- Wait until grass is actively growing to apply fertilizer. Fertilizer applied when grass is not growing wastes your money and time and can contaminate your water.
Southwest Florida Water Management District. Stormwater Systems in Your Neighborhood. Brooksville: Southwest Florida Water Management District, n.d. Print.
What is an illicit or illegal discharge?
- Any substance released into the separate storm water drainage system that is not composed entirely of stormwater or uncontaminated groundwater. Examples of illicit discharges include dumping of motor vehicle fluids, household hazardous waste, paint, pool water, grass clipping, leaf litter or animal waste.
What should I do if I see an illicit or illegal discharge that could affect our Stormwater Management System?
- Please contact the Hillsborough County Stormwater Emergency Operations Center (813) 272-5912, or (813) 272-6900, City of Tampa Stormwater Division – Illicit/Illegal Discharge (813) 274-3101, or the Arbor Greene CDD Community Manager (813) 991-9226 ext. 7.
Below are a few documents to help better understand our Stormwater Management System (click on titles to open document)
- Identification and Elimination of Illicit Discharges
- Stormwater Systems in Your Neighborhood “Maintaining, landscaping and improving stormwater ponds”