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HOA Stormwater Retention Ponds: A Luxury or Liability?

Homeowner Associations are responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of pre-planned communities throughout the U.S. As developers and investors build new homes, they are required by law to have stormwater retention ponds – but they’re not referred to by that name.

Since the dawn of mankind, people have placed a high value on living on or near a body of water. Nothing increases the value of a home like a pond or a lake in the backyard. The problem with man-made stormwater retention ponds is that Mother Nature will try to reclaim the dry land the second the hole is filled with water.

Man-made ponds that don’t have a source of water such as a spring or river are constantly undergoing biological and physical processes that are trying to turn it into a grassy meadow.

Without maintenance and proper upkeep, a stormwater retention pond in an HOA community can be an eyesore, lower property values, and ultimately be a legal liability.

We’re going to look at several aspects of HOA ponds and what maintenance crews and HOA managers can do to prevent these ticking time bombs from causing more problems than they’re worth.

Nonexistent or Poor HOA Maintenance

When communities are brand new, the local ponds are crystal-clear and working as intended. The stormwater retention system works as expected, and everything seems peachy-keen.

Flash forward a few years, and most HOA ponds tend to look like a swamp filled with toxic sludge. This is mainly due to poor or nonexistent HOA maintenance of the lake.

Sometimes the HOA members don’t realize or understand how vital pond maintenance is, other times there’s confusion as to whose responsibility it is to maintain the ponds.

When push comes to shove, the HOA’s will often put that responsibility on the shoulders of homeowners – which can cause a proverbial powder keg to explode when the residents are suddenly facing a massive bill to repair or fix damage caused by the water retention pond.

What Are Most HOA’s Doing for Stormwater Retention Pond Maintenance?

The vast majority of HOA’s will hire an outside company to spray some chemicals in the pond to prevent algae and sludge build up. The inherent problem with this is that it’s only treating a symptom, not the actual cause of the algae and smelly muck.

HOA’s will spend tens of thousands of dollars every year on pond maintenance, only to scratch their heads when a toxic blue-green algae outbreak occurs.

Ponds and other bodies of water attract organic debris such as leaves, grass, dead plants/animals, and industrial run-off. These elements go straight down to the bottom of the pond where there is very little oxygen. This means that the rotting leaves and other organic matter have nothing to keep them in check.

As such these ponds become very nutrient-rich, which in turn feeds nuisance algae and plant life. While chemicals can treat and push back the outbreak, they can’t help biodegrade the rotting organic material that naturally collected at the bottom of the pond.

Dredging for HOA Ponds

If you’re in charge of pond maintenance for your HOA community, you can save your homeowner’s association and the local residents thousands of dollars in maintenance costs by simply dredging each pond once every 12 months.

Professional dredging will remove the organic sludge and muck that fuels nuisance and toxic algae outbreaks. As a bonus, the organic muck that was dredged up can be used in community gardens and grassy areas as organic fertilizer.

HOA communities that have enough money budgeted for annual pond dredging spend much less money on maintenance than those who don’t.

HOA Pond Dredging Experts

At American Underwater Services, we have over 20 years of HOA pond dredging experience. Our expert workers will come out to your job site and give you a professional evaluation and estimate of the scope of work that needs to be done.

No pond is too big or too small for our custom dredgers. If you are in charge of maintenance for an HOA community or would like to learn more about our pond dredging and maintenance services, give us a call at (817) 377-8512, and one of our friendly dredging experts will be more than happy to answer any questions you might have.



Nonexistent or Poor HOA Maintenance

Most privately owned retention ponds are poorly maintained and managed. At best, the vast majority of HOA’s may hire a lake or pond maintenance service that occasionally removes algae and applies chemicals in an attempt to maintain water quality.

But a retention pond is not equivalent to a swimming pool. Proper long term maintenance requires regular inspection and repair of stormwater infrastructure that feeds water into the pond, as well as any weir or dam that controls overflow of water to a wetland, another body of water, or communities located downstream.

HOA Stormwater Retention Pond Maintenace

Routine and Non-routine HOA maintenance will always be needed for a stormwater retention pond. If maintenance is neglected and not done properly, a false sense of security exists for the stormwater retention ponds temporary storage abilities during a large storm event, and its pollutant removal abilities during a typical runoff event.

Pond Dredging

Pond Dredging is the operation of removing material from one part of the water environment and relocating it to another. In all but a few situations the excavation is undertaken by specialist floating plant, known as a dredger. Dredging is carried out in many different locations and for many different purposes, but the main objectives are usually to recover material that has some value or use, or to create a greater depth of water.



Anthony Di Iulio the founder, president and co-owner of American Underwater Services, Inc., started his business in 1999 with only three employees. Today this commercial diving company employs nearly 30 people and handles over 500 projects annually. Anthony moved to Fort Worth from Louisiana with his family in 1976. He worked summers during high school welding underwater for a marina on Benbrook Lake. Eventually he took scuba lessons after almost drowning on the job. Those lessons led him to training at a deep sea diving school in Houston, which included training on offshore oil rigs. Anthony spent several years in Louisiana working on offshore rigs and on inland jobs at power plants and dams before starting American Underwater Services, Inc.


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