What is a stormwater retention pond used for in Florida?

There's no other way around it, Florida is wet. It's surrounded by water, it rains...a LOT, and hurricane season can be a brutal time. So with all this water coming down and around Florida, how is it not an island yet? Where does all this extra water go, especially after a storm? That's where stormwater retention ponds come in and help out way more than you may realize.

Florida isn't wasteful with the water we're given, especially stormwater since there's so much of it every year. After the clouds clear and the stormwater is collecting on the ground, it's directed into a stormwater retention pond. If you've ever driven on one of the main roads in Florida for some time (a good example being the Florida Turnpike), at some point you've probably seen what looks like a relatively small lake on the side of the highway. This "lake" is the retention pond just mentioned, and all that water in it is all stormwater. 

The water in the retention ponds isn't pretty; it's got all the minerals and bacteria and whatever else came with it when it was washed into the pond. Thankfully with the system inside the retention pond, that dirty and murky water gets a new life. The point of the stormwater retention ponds is to strip the minerals and pollutants from that water before it reaches other bodies of water (such as nearby river, stream, lakes, etc.). Most importantly it protects the groundwater, which is where our drinking water comes from. 

Although you can't swim or fish in these small human-made ponds along the sides of the roads, they're there for a good reason and are very beneficial to Florida's water system. Waste not, want not, all the rain goes to good use in Florida! 

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