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Recently, city staff presented to the 8th grade honors Spanish science class at Westwood Middle School. During the presentation, the students took a water trivia quiz and were stumped to find out that there is only one natural lake in the City of Blaine, Laddie Lake.
Many developments have large ponds that were excavated below the peat to find sand, which was then hauled to the surface to create building pads for homes. This was done to have stable ground for homes to sit on and prevent properties from flooding.
These ponds were also designed to capture the rainwater (stormwater runoff) that runs over hard surfaces such as parking lots, roads and buildings. These ponds are not designed to be like a natural lake. Inviting as they look, storm water ponds can also pose hazards including strong currents during storm events, steep side slopes and drop-offs, unsafe winter ice and contaminated water and sediment.
The daily activities of people cause pollutants to collect on impermeable surfaces, these pollutants include dirt, oil, fertilizers, yard waste, litter and salt. With stormwater ponds in place, rainwater can collect, sediment and pollutants can settle to the bottom of the pond, before being released back into the watershed.
City ordinance addresses alterations to and uses of public and private stormwater ponds:
The pollutants being collected by the ponds can be potentially harmful to people and local wildlife. The city inspects the stormwater ponds on a five-year rotating basis to ensure that they are operating properly. Here are some tips to make sure these stormwater ponds continue to function properly: