Information on Dry Ponds
Dry ponds are man-made depressions designed to help reduce the risk of surface flooding by capturing excess storm water during heavy rain and then gradually releasing the water back into the storm sewer system. The time for the dry ponds to drain depends on the intensity and duration of the rainfall.
Dry ponds vary in width and length, have gently sloped sides and can be up to two meters deep. They are landscaped to blend into the local surroundings and when dry, can be used for sport, recreation or leisure purposes.
Dry ponds are widely used in most cities as a method to enhance storm water runoff, particularly in areas of flat terrain. In Saskatoon, dry ponds are located in Hampton Village, Charlottetown Park, Broadway Avenue south of Glasgow Street (off-leash park), Willowgrove and some industrial areas. Western Canadian cities such as Red Deer, Regina, Calgary and Edmonton all use dry ponds as part of their storm water management strategies.
Hampton Village Dry Ponds
The Hampton Village dry ponds function slightly differently than other dry ponds in Saskatoon because they require manual drainage by City of Saskatoon staff. The Hampton Village dry ponds are connected to the Dundonald wet pond downstream, so both the Dundonald wet pond and the storm sewer system have to drain down sufficiently before they can accept the large volume of water from the Hampton Village dry ponds.
Image of a dry pond before and after (during) a heavy rainfall:
Questions and Answers
Are dry ponds safe?
A number of factors make dry ponds as safe as possible:
-They don't have water in them most of the time
-They fill relatively slowly
-As with any flooded areas, do not enter bodies of floodwater
-Depending on the rain event, dry ponds tend to drain very quickly. The exceptions are the Hampton Village ponds as they must be drained manually by City of Saskatoon staff.
When will the Hampton Village Dry Pond be drained?
-City crews will determine when both the Dundonald wet pond and the storm sewer system have drained down sufficiently before beginning the manual draining process.
Who cleans the dry pond after the rain water drains away?
-City of Saskatoon crews clean up debris left by flood waters.
Are there alternatives to dry ponds?
-Yes, underwater storage tanks, tunnels, lift stations and/or force sewer mains or large diameter pipes could be installed. Although possible, these methods are expensive to build and maintain, can be very disruptive during constructive, and are not necessarily more effective than dry ponds.