What is a detention pond?

A detention pond is an engineered drainage structure designed to temporarily hold a set amount of water while slowly draining to another location. They a best management practice installed for flood control when large amounts of rain could cause flash flooding if not dealt with properly. Additionally, detention ponds act as a trap where pollutants picked up by the initial surge of stormwater settle out before leaving the detention pond.

When an area is paved, or covered with a building, water runs off the property much faster than when it is in a natural state. The total amount of discharge is the same, but the discharge happens over a shorter amount of time. A hydrologist will design a detention pond to temporarily detain the water and keep the runoff to the desired rate. When the rain ends, though, the detention pond will be empty shortly afterwards.

Show All Answers

1. Why isn’t the City of Abilene widening or deepening the creeks in Abilene?
2. What are "Best Management Practices" (BMP)?
3. What is a detention pond?
4. Are sewers and storm drains the same thing?
5. Can drainage structures be cleaned out before a storm event?
6. Can filters or screens be installed at the inlets of detention ponds and storm drains?
7. Why isn't a net/fence/barrier installed at the end of the storm drain channels to catch all of the trash?
8. Why doesn't the City build a stormwater treatment facility?
9. What kinds of pollutants are found in the storm drain system?
10. How much water passes through the system?