Storm Water Pond Changes Good for Homeowners, Bad for Swans

Kayaker enjoys sediment retention pond earlier this year – Photo courtesy Maura Rhodes

A sedimentation management pond at the corner of Business Route 7 and Jackson Drive in Berryville, Virginia will soon be converted to a storm water management facility. The change will allow storm water to drain from the area more quickly now that construction runoff from the new high school has been mitigated.

The large water collection area just east of Clarke County High School has served as a collection area for sediment-laden water runoff while construction crews moved large amounts of soil during foundation and  landscaping work around the new school building.

Water from the site was routed into the collection are so that so that suspended soil could slowly settle out of the standing water. The result of the slow drainage was often a large, shallow lake much to the delight of neighborhood children as well as passing waterfowl.

Construction crews work to remove sediment from “Lac du Mosby” – Photo Edward Leonard

Two large swans were often seen on the pond.

But according to Berryville Town Planner Christy Dunkle, the engineering changes now taking place may make future lake appearances at the site a rare occurrence.

“The drainage pipe was originally placed so that water levels remained in the area longer to allow sediment to be trapped,” Dunkle told the Berryville Planning Commission on Tuesday evening. “The pond worked well and did its job. The crews are now working to lower the level of the drainage pipe so that the pond can be converted to its long term role of storm water management.”

It was not immediately apparent whether homeowners attempting to sell properties bordering the area will still benefit by advertising amenities such as “lake access” or “waterfront view”.

Berryville’s intermittent “Lac du Mosby” is being converted from a sedimentation pond to a storm water management pond now that completion of the new high school is complete – Photo Edward Leonard


  1. That’s not why they changed the height of the drainage pipe. The Texas Aggies Hockey team tried to use the site for spring training, and they had to drain it to find the bodies.