Retention ponds are manmade ponds used to collect and clean storm water so surrounding neighborhoods don’t flood.

Urban areas are especially at risk for flooding because the impervious surfaces of asphalt and concrete increase the flow rate of storm water. Storm water retention ponds also trap sediment so it doesn’t clog nearby streams and rivers.

To keep a storm water retention pond functional, you’ll need the services of a retention pond dredging contractor.

Why do retention ponds need dredging?

Dredging removes the dead and decaying organic material (muck) that collects at the bottoms of ponds. This muck contains algae, leaves, weeds, lawn clippings, branches, animal waste, and more. Other than being gross, pond muck can negatively impact the health of your retention pond.

As muck decays, oxygen is used up. When there is a lot of muck decaying at once, the oxygen levels can become so depleted that they create toxic environments for fish, insects, and other pond organisms. While pond wildlife suffers, the toxic gases and nutrients released during this process only increase the growth rate of algae and pond weeds.

Without dredging, your retention pond will shrink over time and become shallower. When sunlight is able to penetrate deeper into water, it creates the perfect environment for aquatic weeds to flourish. To keep your retention pond functional, you’ll want to schedule pond dredging with a dredging and silt removal company.

When is dredging not effective?

Most artificial ponds are engineered to have solid foundations. However, you’ll still want to make sure your pond has a solid bottom made out of bedrock, clay, gravel, or sand before dredging. Otherwise, you could end up exposing pond sediment underneath that’s rich in nutrients. Nutrient overloading is often why people need dredging in the first place.

If fertilizer runoff is a recurring issue, dredging will remove muck from pond bottoms but won’t solve the problem. A dredging and excavation contractor can help you determine whether dredging would be effective for your unique situation.

What happens during retention pond dredging?

During mechanical dredging, contractors use an excavator to literally scoop out pond muck. Depending on the size of the retention pond, the excavator will be operated along the shoreline or on a mobile barge. Your contractor will then follow strict guidelines from the EPA to dispose dredged sediment. The retention pond will be deeper after mechanical dredging. Approximately 2 to 5 feet of muck will have been removed from the bottom of your pond.

How will I know if a pond needs dredging?

If you’ve noticed a significant increase in algae and pond weeds, this may be a sign that oxygen levels are low. Other signs a pond needs dredging is if it has shrunk or become shallower in recent years. How often the retention pond will need dredging depends on how it was engineered. A mechanical dredging contractor will be able to tell if your retention pond needs to be cleared of muck in order to stay healthy.

Who do I hire for retention pond dredging?

The pond dredging contractors at McCullough Excavating are dedicated to helping customers maintain the delicate ecological balance of retention ponds. If you are interested in our retention pond dredging service, give our Bainbridge excavating contractors a call at (765) 386-6514.