Ponds can provide great places to relax, have a picnic, or watch for wildlife. Most ponds in Montgomery County also act as filters to help clean and store stormwater after rain events. Read on to learn more about how the County is upgrading these important structures in our communities.
Stormwater is rain or snow that picks up substances like oil, grease, litter, pesticides, fertilizers, and carries them into our waterways, making them unhealthy. Most stormwater is not treated before it reaches nearby waterbodies, making it a major source of pollution.
In efforts to improve the health of local streams, the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection is upgrading existing stormwater facilities to ensure that they are doing their best to capture and filter stormwater. In addition to upgrading existing ponds, the County also installs new facilities such as rain gardens or tree boxes and restores local streams.
A majority of our current projects involve converting dry ponds to wet ponds. Wet ponds allow us to plant vegetation that can absorb the pollutants that are released during storm events rather than passing directly into our streams. Along the perimeter of these ponds, we install Blue Flag Iris that have beautiful blue flowers, Pickerel Weed with an array of Purple flowers, Softstem bulrush, American bur-reed, and Water Lilies. All of these plants are native and attract many bees, butterflies, dragon flies, and birds.
Many of our residents are concerned when we propose wet ponds because they are worried that the water will become a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Once the wet ponds are completed, however, they are quickly surprised by how the balanced ecosystem of the ponds naturally keeps mosquito populations down. The goal of these projects is to create sustainable ecosystems where these ponds will enhance the habitat of our aquatic loving friends (frogs, birds, salamanders, ducks, etc.) but will also ensure there are more predators living in this system to control the mosquito population.
To learn more about the various projects that DEP is performing Countywide, please visit our Watershed Restoration group’s website where you can learn about other projects as well as use our interactive map to search for projects closest to your home!