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What Is The Difference Between A Retention Pond And Detention Pond? | Ponds & Lakes Q&A

Q: What is the difference between a retention pond and detention pond?

Peter – Harrison, AR

A: A retention pond holds a specific amount of water indefinitely. The pond is designed to have drainage leading to another location to keep the pond from overflowing during heavy rains, but otherwise the pond is intended to always be full. You’ll frequently see these types of ponds in commercial properties or subdivisions, often with decorative fountains in the center.

A detention pond, or “dry pond,” is a low-lying area that temporarily holds water until the water drains to another location. It is not filled with water all the time. A detention pond is generally used for flood control when large amounts of rain and storm water runoff could cause flash flooding if not dealt with properly.

Poor maintenance of either type of pond can create unpleasant odors, nuisance insects, algae blooms, and an unkempt area. Due to the nature of runoff having exceptional amounts of nutrients, using natural products such as Pond Logic® Eco Boost™ or Pond Logic® Muck Away™ can help control these flash floods of nutrients.

Pond Talk: Do you live near a retention or detention pond? How is it cared for?

Pond Logic® EcoBoost™ - Enhance Natural Bacteria

4 Responses

  1. A close friend in rural Northern CA put in a large koi pound many years ago. It is drop dead gorgeous, but can be a pain also. He has replaced his koi several times. The biggest problems are preditors (raccoons, etc.)…freezing…etc. It’s a commitment.

  2. Are retention ponds required to have their water tested and cleaned

    • Hi Stephen, There would be regulations to follow if you treated the waterbody but I don’t believe there are any national requirements of having water tested unless there is a beach that would need to be tested for E. Coli. You would need to check with your state’s environmental agency or your local health department for more specific information in your area.

  3. very good information.
    someone is giving me some Koi fish and I need to start from scratch to build a pond

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