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Stormwater Ponds

Stormwater pondsA Tampa paper recently published an editorial about the beauty and importance of storm water ponds.  While the ponds can be beautiful and are important for storm water treatment, these ponds were not intended to be wildlife habitat nor recreational water bodies.  Storm water ponds are mini-waste water treatment plants.  The sediments can be laden with heavy metals and the water column saturated with phosphate or nitrogen and other soluble elements from the operation of our vehicles.  The unintended consequence of the ponds is the use of these features to enhance the value of homes (water front) and the use by wildlife especially alligators.  Please remember that fish in these ponds may have lead, cadmium and mercury in their tissue and should not be eaten.  We all need to be careful about our expectations of the visual quality of the storm water ponds.  The runoff from our yards and streets carries all types of chemicals to the ponds that contribute to algal blooms and the growth of non-native plants.  Imagine the non-stop influx of nutrients and that the algae is “designed” to eat it up.