What's in Your Pond?

The Maryland Department of the Environment (Department) is taking action to ensure that stormwater infrastructure in Maryland remains resilient to the effects of climate change. Increasing precipitation and runoff have focused the State’s attention on the structural integrity of stormwater ponds and dams for public safety and water quality. In late 2020, the Department held a series of virtual training workshops for more than 100 attendees to discuss the importance of ensuring the resiliency of this critical infrastructure. The sessions reviewed the current requirements for stormwater management and small ponds, including design criteria, the approval process, common maintenance concerns, and hazard classification, as well as policy updates. The presentations from each session may be accessed below.

These sessions are another step forward in the discussion on how large, structural stormwater practices and small ponds are designed and approved in Maryland. To assist in this discussion, the Department developed a survey concerning local programs. The information obtained from the survey and the live discussions held during the training sessions has been summarized in this document and provides a status of Maryland’s stormwater and small pond approval programs. This valuable feedback will be used to update guidance, enhance future outreach, develop topics for training, improve Department communications, and gain a better understanding of the needs of local programs.​

What's in Your Pond Sessions Su​mmary January 6, 2022

The Universe of Ponds - September 16, 2020

A presentation looking at legal and regulatory authority, procedures and MOUs; a history of dam regulations in Maryland and the role of SCD in carrying out the regulatory requirements; categorizing embankments and outlining basic design criteria; and pond maintenance and retrofits.

Technical Issues - October 14, 2020

A discussion on hazard classifications and hazard creep and the draft MDE 'Guidance for Completing a Dam Breach Analysis for Small Ponds and Dams in Maryland'; common mistakes, myths, and misconceptions that MDE plan reviewers come across; policy memoranda; and sediment basins and Code 378.

What You See is What You Get! - November 18, 2020​

The final session ties the technical issues to solutions such as policy development and how we can collaborate reviews between jurisdictions; the changes that are proposed to modernize dam safety regulations; and how local planning, zoning and subdivision decisions can impact existing and proposed small ponds.

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