These photos show an overgrown stormwater drainage pond before and after maintenance was completed.
Photo: DeKalb County
Photo: DeKalb County

DeKalb launches $2M effort to clean up messy stormwater ponds

DeKalb County is launching a $2 million program aimed at cleaning up nearly a thousand storm water drainage ponds.

The ponds collect rain water that flows from streets, parking lots or other waterproof surfaces. They are important to prevent erosion and keep the water from overwhelming the streets and sewer system. 

There are 950 such basins across DeKalb, and many have become overgrown with vegetation. 

The county commission approved to spend $2 million on the new maintenance program, which will involve mowing vegetation, repairing fences and removing trees in the ponds. The county said that will reduce standing water, help control the mosquito population and limit the effects of erosion.

MORE DEKALB NEWS: DeKalb County sheriff retiring amid appeal over certification

“The pond maintenance program is the first step in a $50 million effort to address critical issues in the stormwater system,” CEO Michael Thurmond said in a statement. “The growth, economic development and health of the county and its citizens relies on 21st century infrastructure.”

DeKalb has previously been able to rehabilitate about 150 ponds each year. But with the new funding, the county estimates it will be able to clean up 350 ponds by the end of 2020.

Some of the basins are as small as 500 square feet, while others span more than 10 acres. The county ranked each pond by the amount of work required.

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In other news:

Sheriff Jeffrey Mann announced he was retiring early on Wednesday

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