Drive around Parker and you will notice some “depressions” that hold water after rainfall events. These depressions, which are known as detention ponds, serve an important purpose. They are crucial in reducing flooding during precipitation events, as well as reducing the amount of stormwater pollution that flows into Cherry Creek. A detention pond’s main function is to capture, hold and then slowly release stormwater through an outlet device at a rate that mimics pre-developed conditions. This function is known as the “historic rate of release” and it refers to the rate of run off released from undeveloped land during rain or snow.
For example, before the new PACE Center was constructed, the seven acres of land that it now occupies was comprised of native grasses and soil. During this time, a large percentage of the rain that fell onto these seven acres would simply be absorbed into the ground. After the PACE Center was constructed, much of the native grasses and soil was replaced with impervious materials such as rooftops, concrete sidewalks and asphalt parking lots. As a result, the rain that used to be absorbed into the ground now has the ability to run off the site and cause downstream flooding, erosion and water pollution.
Now, take this concept and apply it to the entire Town. Consider how much water would be flowing out of neighborhoods and commercial areas during precipitation events if it was not
being captured in detention ponds and then slowly released.
As an added benefit, detention ponds provide stormwater pollution reduction. As stormwater is held inside the detention pond, some pollutants settle to the bottom of the pond. This reduces the amount of pollution that travels downstream, where it could ultimately enter into Cherry Creek.
It is important for residents to remember that any substance other than clean water that is released from their property into the adjacent street, sidewalk, gutter or storm drain inlet has the ability to pollute Cherry Creek. This includes: motor oil, antifreeze, paint, solvents, car wash products, pet waste, fertilizers, landscaping materials, grass clippings, etc. As such, it is illegal to intentionally discharge many of these products into the environment.
For more information on detention ponds or stormwater pollution prevention, please contact the Public Works Department at 303.840.9546 or firstname.lastname@example.org.