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Urgent Warning about Retention Ponds Amidst Heavy Rainfall: Stay Away and Be Aware

Urgent Warning about Retention Ponds Amidst Heavy Rainfall: Stay Away and Be Aware

Douglas County, Colorado – Douglas County has experienced higher levels of rain in the month of June than we are used to, and the ground is now saturated. Retention ponds, located throughout the county, are designed both for water quality treatment as well as flood control. Both those that are normally dry and those that hold water all year round are currently full of water due to the excess rain we have experienced. Normally most retention ponds do not present a threat – but with retention ponds currently full, they can present a dangerous hazard and drowning risk, particularly to children.

  • Retention ponds often have steep sides, which makes climbing out of them difficult.
  • Retention ponds and outlet culverts may have strong currents as the water drains from them – especially if protective bars or grating is built close to the drain.
  • The suction effect created by the inflow and outflow structures of retention ponds can unexpectedly pull children under the water, making it extremely difficult for them to escape without immediate assistance.
  • Children are naturally curious and may be drawn to the allure of these water bodies, especially during or after heavy rainfall.
  • Parents are encouraged to discuss the dangers of playing near or in these ponds.
  • Parents, especially those with young children, should avoid letting their children play near these areas during this rainy period.
  • Retention ponds collect run-off, so the water in them is often dirty, unsanitary and can be toxic.

You can keep your loved ones safe!

Never: Swim in a retention pond, fish in a retention pond, play around a retention pond or try to remove anything from a retention pond.

Do: Keep children supervised and call 911 if children, pets or people fall into a retention pond. After you’ve called 911, throw something that floats or a rope to the victim if it can be done safely.

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