One of the first things people see upon entering Running Man at the Victory Boulevard entrance is the Running Man Stormwater Retention Pond. Frankly, it is an eyesore, although it was once an aesthetically pleasing part of the Running Man landscape. What happened? As the name implies, the purpose of the pond is to catch stormwater runoff. Over the years since it was built in 1985, it has slowly filled with debris and leaves. The pond is nearly full of organic material and the water level is so low the fountain (yes there used to be a fountain in the pond) can no longer work, so mosquitoes breed and algae grows. Addressing the pond problem is the primary goal of the current Running Man Board, and the pond rehabilitation project is finally about to begin.
A quick aside, York County requires housing developments to have stormwater lakes or ponds to reduce pollution from stormwater before it reaches the bay, and it is our responsibility to maintain the pond. Some sediment (organic material) was removed in 2014, but the amount removed was relatively small and no measures were taken to inhibit the continuing build-up of organic matter in the pond.
In the next few days, ONE Environmental Group of Poquoson will begin the effort to rehabilitate the pond. The work around the pond itself, weather permitting, should take no more than a few weeks. That effort will include preparation of the site and movement of heavy equipment, removal of one thousand cubic yards of organic material, installation of two forebays near the pond inlets, installation of a fountain, and site restoration.
Installation of the forebays is essential to the long term health and functionality of the pond. A forebay, for lack of a better description, is a box shaped enclosure near the inlet to the pond--there are two inlets so there will be two forebays. The two forebays will be rather large, containing a minimum of fifteen percent of the total volume of the pond. The concept is that the water from the pond inlets will flow into the bottom of the forebays, which have sloped interior walls. As each forebay fills with water, debris is left behind and the water, minus most of the debris, flows out of the top of the forebay into the pond. The result is that less organic matter accumulates in the pond and the pond will have more water, so we will be able to install a new fountain. Cleaning the forebays every two or three years will be required and is something the board will address in the annual budget. Some organic matter will continue to accumulate in the pond, so we will periodically assess the health of the pond and remove organic matter before it gets as bad as it is now.
The process to remove the organic matter from the pond will entail scooping the matter with heavy equipment, loading the matter into sealed dump trucks, and hauling it to a disposal site. The disposal site will be beneath the power lines near Corrotoman Run in Running Man. Loaded trucks will travel from the pond down Running Man Trail to Kanawah Run to Kinnakeet Run to Corrotoman Run and will enter the area under the power lines. The disposal area has been approved by York County and will be approximately 150 feet x 90 feet x 2 feet.
One Environmental has been working closely with the State of Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and York County Stormwater Programs to ensure all environmental concerns have been addressed. The permitting process has been laborious and, at times, frustrating, but worthwhile in the long run. The contractor is required to use sealed trucks to ensure our roads are not covered with the organic material and is responsible for any spills, leaks, ruts, etc. The contractor is also responsible for restoration of the work site at the pond and restoration of the disposal site under the power lines. To ensure the disposal site is not “forgotten”, the contractor was required to submit a bond to York County and will be responsible for maintaining the dump area until it satisfies the York County requirements specified in the permits. At that time, York County will return the bond to the contractor.
The Board is excited about the prospects of cleaning up the pond and making it an aesthetically pleasing part of the the Running Man landscape. The addition of the forebays will ensure the water level of the pond will support operation of the fountain which will inhibit the breeding of mosquitoes and allow the introduction of small minnow-like fish. That, in turn, should bring back the egrets and the heron that were here years ago. Eventually a walking path and a fence to keep leaves from blowing into the pond may be added, both of which will enhance the pond’s value to the community. Many things are possible in the future, but first we have to successfully accomplish the rehabilitation project.
Updates about the work schedule will be made on Nextdoor.com. Please be sure dogs are leashed in the exercise trail area near the clubhouse, and instruct children that the area is “off limits” for their own safety. Be aware of the construction and disposal vehicles, which will mainly be working Monday through Friday during school hours. Avoiding the disposal route during those hours will hasten the disposal process. Thank you for your patience during this process.