This retention pond report was created by the daughter of one of our staff. We just love how she engaged with her father and leveraged his subject matter expertise.
For my I wonder I decided to do something that has to do with civil engineering. My I wonder goes under the environmental section. The project I did was “how does a retention pond help the environment.” With this project I had my dad help me do a little of things with it because I didn’t know how to. I decided to do this project because it has to do with the environment and I think everyone should know about the environment. Many people often get retention and detention ponds confused. Retention ponds are bodies of water in commercial and residential developments that collect and store stormwater runoff. Detention ponds are dry ponds. Retention ponds are also known as wet ponds. Retention ponds improve water quality and control water quantity. Retention ponds reduce pollution and prevent downstream flooding. For my I wonder I had limited products. I had to work with 2 foam blocks,1 water bottle,5 straws,1 ½ sticks of hot glue, a little bit of grey paint and I had to build the pond and do anything else with this project in under 8 days.
For my I wonder I had to do a little bit of research. The research I had to do was to find out “how retention ponds work, what retentions ponds are, how retention ponds help the environment, and how retention ponds are built. In order for me to find out all of this information, I need to look for any environment page that has to do with retention ponds. The best page I found that had to do with stormwater or retention ponds was dgcenvironmental.com. This page gave me all of the information I needed to find.
I had a few options I had to choose from other than the one I picked out. These options were: build a wind-powered car, make elephant toothpaste, build a retention pond, and building an ancient irrigation method. I had more options, but I decided that the other options weren’t as cool as the ones the ones I listed above. I also had a few duplicates, so I decided to go ahead and mark those out. My options that I chose was the retention pond because I thought it was best and harder option.
This is the part that it the hardest it’s also the fun part. The building processes. In the building process I have to build the retention pond with the limited supplies that I had. Those supplies are listed in one of the above paragraphs. The first step I had to do was hot glue the two foam blocks together to make one big block. I had to do this because one foam block wasn’t big enough to make the retention pond out of. The second step I had to do was start carving out the design of the pond in the one big blocks. After that I put a straw in the block as an inflow source so that the rainwater will go into the system. When I put that straw in I cut a plastic bottle to where I made a funnel, so the water can go into the straw better. When I got that done I put another straw at the other end, so part of straw was in the inside and the other part was on the outside, so it became an outfall. I made sure that the part of the straw was in the inside was up more so that the water had to rise in order for it to reach the part of the straw that was up in order for it to come out. When I finished doing that process I cut more plastic out to make a box like shape to put above the straw that was in the inside of the pond to make a cover. When I finished doing that I put grey paint on the box liked shape to make it look like it was a concrete box. Then I got rocks from outside to put under the inflow straw to make it were all the dirt fell in the rocks the rocks also make it to where the water slows down, so the water pressure doesn’t start to dig a hole in the dirt in front of the inflow straw. With the rocks where they are they help the water become a little cleaner. Finally, I got some small trees to put around the edge of the pond just to give it a little bit of detail to make it look more realistic.
This is the fun part! This part is the testing part. In this part I have to test out whether or not my project works. In order for me to test my project I have to put water in the inflow straw for it to go into the pond and rise up to go out the outfall straw. The water went into the inflow straw perfectly, but the water never started to seep out of the bottom of the pond like it was supposed to. In order for me to fix that problem I had to get a thick needle and start poking the bottom of the pond to make the water come out easier and faster. When the water got to high the outfall straw did its job. It made the water an easy access out of the pond. We had no problems with either the inflow or outflow straws.
This is more of the boring step this is the communication step. In this step I talk with someone about my project like what was wrong with it and what was right with it. So, with that being said I am going to start going with it. My project had a few bad things that we had to go back and fix. One of those things was that one of the important straws kept coming out. We had hot glued it in, but it ended up coming up again, so we just made it fit in a very small spot. This small spot became a very tight spot for it to go in. Then we got a lot of hot glue and put it on the straw so that not only was it a hard spot for it to come out of, but it was also a hot glued in. With that being said we also had a few good things happen. One of those good things happen was that the rocks we put it in did its job. They made the water slow down before hitting the dirt that was in the pond. Another good thing was that the outfall straw was high enough above the dirt to were the water actually had to rise up before some of it could come out. I will have to say there could be a few things that could make it better. One of those things would be if the foam block I used was one big block and not two small ones hot glued together. Basically, what I am saying is that my project is not perfect, and I didn’t think it would be perfect especially since it was my very first time making a retention pond.
If I had to redesign my project I would make it a little bigger because the one I made was a little small. I would also try to find a different type of foam block. The foam block I used was a little bit thicker than I thought it would be it also sheds little green flack things everywhere if it is touched.