Water & Sewer

Stormwater Management Ponds

A stormwater management pond is a man-made infrastructure built to gather rainfall and surface water runoff.

How a storm pond works

  1. Stormwater runs off of our roads, driveways, sidewalks and throughout our community collecting dirt, litter and other pollutants before draining into the stormwater pond.
  2. Sand, dirt, silt and other sediments that pollutants attach themselves to settle to the bottom of the pond.
  3. Cleaner water leaves the stormwater pond and flows into our watercourse.

Illustration showing the steps of how a stormwater pond works

Why we need stormwater management ponds

In a natural environment, runoff easily soaks into the soil or is absorbed by trees and plants. In developed areas where the ground is mostly covered in hard surfaces such as roads, sidewalks, patios, and rooftops, runoff cannot be absorbed. Instead, the water travels quickly over these surfaces to our waterways.

  • Stormwater management ponds collect the runoff to reduce flooding and pollution
  • They remove sediment particles that pollutants attach themselves to. The clean water is then returned to our waterways
  • They also provide flood protection to downstream properties by providing a space for the additional runoff to be detained

The City of Hamilton carries out these activities for the ponds that we own and operate:

  • Annual inspection
  • Monitoring sediment depths
  • Monitoring invasive vegetation
  • Maintenance of nearby vegetation and plants
  • Maintenance of structures including fencing and gates
  • For significant works, like cleaning out the sediment and making repairs to the facility slopes or infrastructure, the City will retain the services of a contractor

Residents should obey these guidelines to promote safety in and around the ponds:

  • Do not swim, skate, wade, fish, or boat within the stormwater pond
  • Practise safety when around a stormwater pond as water levels can change quickly during storm events

Looks Can Be Deceiving.
Stormwater management ponds in the City of Hamilton are not monitored for ice conditions. Due to their function, they behave differently than natural bodies of water. They are unsafe to be on for several reasons.

The ice depth varies across the pond’s surface
Due to the continuous flow of water in these ponds, the ice that forms in winter is unstable
Ponds collect runoff from the roadway that contain salt, which lowers the freezing temperature of the water

Air pockets can easily form throughout the surface
Ponds are typically located in remote or hard to access areas, distant from help

It is dangerous to be on any ice surface that has areas of open water. Always stay off stormwater management ponds.

How you can help

Residents should follow these suggestions to help keep our waterways clean:



  • Litter in or around the pond
  • Over-fertilize or over-water your lawn and garden
  • Dispose of your grass clippings or yard waste into the pond
  • Disturb plants and vegetation around the pond
  • Dispose of pet fish in the pond
  • Drain or dispose of swimming pool chemicals and water in the pond or storm sewers