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Stormwater pond maintenance workshop

DNREC Lewes Field Office
Dec. 5, 2019

The Sussex Conservation District (SCD) recently held two free stormwater pond maintenance workshops on Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019 at the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) Lewes Field Office.

Jessica Watson, sediment and stormwater program manager at SCD, spoke on the history of the sediment and stormwater program in Delaware and the process by which plans are implemented and approved by SCD. Watson covered the various types of stormwater conveyance systems including wet, dry and infiltration ponds, underground stormwater systems, bioswales, bioretention cells, filter strips, constructed wetlands and vegetated roofs as well as the maintenance responsibilities and requirements of each.

“We urge property owners and homeowners associations (HOAs) to contact us before there is a problem in addition to hiring professionals to maintain and enhance the stormwater facilities within a community,” said Watson.

Matthew Messina, equipment project manager at SCD, spoke on drainage concerns and how SCD can provide technical assistance to property owners, HOAs and municipalities that need to address serious drainage issues. Messina discussed best management practices (BMPs) to correct drainage concerns impacting Sussex County such as pipe failures resulting in sinkholes, standing water, tax ditches, erosion and embankment stabilization.

“Due to the lack of topographic relief and the varying water table, drainage issues are common throughout Sussex County but it is our goal to provide assistance wherever possible. We want you to understand how your stormwater facilities work and to contact us with serious drainage concerns,” said Messina.

Jim Passwaters, owner of Sussex Landscaping, discussed the benefits of landscaping stormwater ponds, the associated maintenance and how native plants assist stormwater facilities.

“Native plants help filter pollution from runoff, assist with erosion issues, enhance the aesthetics of stormwater facilities and provide a natural habitat for many beneficial species. Also, many communities are inundated with geese; proper implementation of native plants in the buffer zone can reduce these numbers as well as provide filtration of excess nutrients,” said Passwaters.

Local pond maintenance companies, Envirotech Environmental Consulting, Inc., Solitude Lake Management and Tributaries Ecological Restoration, were on site to provide information, discuss concerns and offer guidance on stormwater BMPs with guests.

Guests at each session were treated to lite refreshments and door prizes including two $15 gift certificates for native plants from SCDs nursery.

For presentation materials visit the following links: 

Jessica Watson, SCD sediment and stormwater program manager

Matthew Messina, SCD equipment project manager

Jim Passwaters, Sussex Landscaping owner

About the Sussex Conservation District:

The Sussex Conservation District is dedicated to serving Sussex County by providing technical guidance and financial assistance to enhance, maintain, protect and improve land and water resources. For 75 years SCD has worked with cooperating landowners and managers of private working lands to help them plan and implement effective conservation practices. For more information visit www.sussexconservation.org.

01 Guest Chatting

The DNREC Lewes Field Office was filled with guests eager to learn about stormwater pond maintenance at the workshop held in Lewes on Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019.

02 Watson Presenting

Jessica Watson, sediment and stormwater program manager at SCD, presenting at the stormwater pond maintenance workshop in Lewes on Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019.

03 Messina Presenting

Matthew Messina, equipment program project manager at SCD, presenting at the stormwater pond maintenance workshop in Lewes on Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019.

04 Passwaters Presenting

Jim Passwaters, owner of Sussex Landscaping, presenting on native plants at the stormwater pond maintenance workshop in Lewes on Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019.

05 Envirotech

Richard “Dick” Plambeck, left, Millsboro Independence HOA member and James Powell, senior project consultant at Envirotech Environmental Consulting, Inc. discuss aeration systems at the stormwater pond maintenance workshop held in Lewes on Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019.

06 Solitude

Brandon Tindley, left, and Greg Blackham, aquatic specialists at Solitude Lake Management discuss goose repellants with a guest at the stormwater pond maintenance workshop held in Lewes on Thursday, Dec. 5, 219.

07 Tributaries

Burr Monroe, owner, and Beth Pheff, of Tributaries Ecological Restoration, discuss drainage concerns with guests at the stormwater pond maintenance workshop held in Lewes on Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019.