Retention ponds can play a vital role in storm water management and flood control. The Northbrook Public Works Department worked with GIS in order to help map and track the retention ponds in the Village. Previously, a spreadsheet with an address was used to track the location of retention ponds. Public Works wanted to ability to visualize these locations on a map while still maintaining the information available through the spreadsheet.
So, what is the purpose of tracking retention pond locations and what information is valuable to know about them? First, it was very important for Public Works to know the locations of the outfalls. During heavy rain events, the outfalls can become backed up and prevent water from flowing as designed. It is important that the outfalls become cleared quickly. By mapping those locations as a custom overlay on MapOfficeTM Public Works can then spend less time looking for outfalls and get them cleared sooner.
Public Works also tracks who is responsible for retention ponds and clearing any blockages. When a call comes in about a blockage, Public Works can easily see who is responsible and notify the caller if it is a private retention pond. The custom overlay will also be available to the public so they can gather this information themselves.
Other Village departments can also benefit from the tracking of the retention ponds, especially in the centralized location of MapOffice. Engineering can store information such as pond volume or hyperlinks to drawings. The Fire Department can track depths in the case divers are needed during missing person searches.