The primary purpose of many ponds in Chanhassen is to collect stormwater runoff (rain and snow melt) and reduce the risk of flooding. Ponds filter out pollutants and sediment, thus making them an important step to protect water quality as stormwater travels downstream towards Chanhassen’s lakes, streams, and wetlands. The City performs inspections of stormwater ponds on about a 5-year cycle to make sure that ponds function as designed. The City does not manage ponds for aesthetic purposes. However, the City understands that residential ponds can often become a source of undesirable aesthetic conditions which residents may want to manage. Luckily, there are a few ways to mitigate against that.
There are a few tips and tricks that residents can employ in order to help improve water quality in your pond. Those are:
- Rake up trash, leaves and grass from yards, streets and curbs. Sweep driveways and sidewalks instead of hosing them off.
- Never dispose of yard waste (or anything else) into ponds and storm drains – the waste contains phosphorus, which causes plants and algae to grow.
- Use biodegradable soaps for outdoor cleaning or car washing.
- Pick up pet waste and dispose of it in the trash.
- Maintaining a native, vegetated buffer around a pond goes a long way towards filtering out stormwater as it travels overland into the pond. Understandably this may not always be the most desirable option from a maintenance and aesthetic option, but even maintaining healthy sod and grass will help a little bit in this regard.
- Reseed or re-sod all bare areas to keep stormwater from washing soil particles, which also contain phosphorus, into a storm sewer or pond.
Please note – stormwater ponds are not to be used for human or pet recreation.
The City inspects ponds roughly once every 5 years. However, in the summer and fall of 2020, City staff performed a comprehensive inventory of all our ponds and put together a prioritization plan of maintaining them based on data collected. In the past, budgeting for pond projects was severely limited. However, in fall 2020 the City Council approved an increase in the budget for pond maintenance projects. As a result the plan moving forward is to evaluate pond maintenance projects on an annual basis. More information is available here.
If you have any further questions, or would like to know where your pond ranks in the City’s prioritization matrix, contact the City’s Water Resources Coordinator Matt Unmacht at MUnmacht@ci.chanhassen.mn.us or at 952-227-1168.