Katie Thisdell reports on news from Stafford County. Contact her at email@example.com or at 540/735-1975.
Retention ponds could get fences, signs
In April, an 11-year-old boy drowned in a storm water retention pond in Stafford County. He went missing unnoticed from his home in the Somerset Landing subdivision north of the courthouse off U.S. 1, and ended up in the pond, according to police. Here’s the story.
Now, county board members are looking at ways to prevent such tragedies. Members of the public safety committee discussed Tuesday what could be done for county and private ponds.
There are 505 storm water ponds (wet and dry) in the county, 30 of which are county maintained. The other 475 ponds are maintained by HOAs or commercial property owners. The Public Works Department does annual inspections. Most ponds do not have signs or fences.
“If we decide to put fences on all these, it’ll be quite a few ponds,” said Mike Smith, director of Public Works.
The county’s storm water management pond requirements call for general safety measures and fences in limited situations. Safety ledges are not mandated.
County staff will now look at the county’s existing ponds to see what could be done, if anything, to improve safety around them. Any that seem to be causing problems may have fences or signs installed. From there, further regulations could later be developed for private ponds.