COLUMBIA — The Clemson Cooperative Extension Service is holding its first stormwater pond management conference in the Midlands area on March 13.

Numerous neighborhood lakes and retention ponds broke during the October 2015 flood, resulting widespread property loss.

Numerous neighborhood lakes and retention ponds broke during the October 2015 flood, resulting widespread property loss.
Image Credit: Clemson University College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences

Intended to help South Carolina residents learn the importance of proper stormwater pond management, the conference is hosted by Clemson Extension, Carolina Clear, Richland Countywide Stormwater Consortium, Richland Countywide Stormwater Consortium and Sumter Stormwater Solutions. It will be 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. at Midlands Technical College Northeast Campus, 151 Powell Road, Columbia.

“This conference has been held in the coastal areas for the past few years, but hasn’t been held in this area,” said Karen Jackson, a Clemson water resources agent in Richland County. “We get a lot of pond-related questions, so we thought it would benefit a lot of people if we held the conference in this area. Having the conference here will help get a lot of our information out to the people who need it.

“This conference is a great opportunity for pond owners and pond managers to interact with other pond owners, as well as organizations and businesses in the pond management industry and regulatory agencies.”

The conference is divided into two specialized tracks, one for pond owners and another for professional pond managers. Topics on the agenda include: integrated weed management, upland best management practices, pond inspection and maintenance, funding and budgeting, fish stocking, wildlife management, hands-on problem-solving and more.

The cost is $40 per attendee and includes materials, lunch and refreshments. The cost for exhibitors is $100, which includes two registrations. Participants who have a South Carolina pesticide applicator license will receive continuing education units. This conference also qualifies for general continuing education units.

Complimentary registration will be given to 20 homeowners association representatives (HOA) in the Midlands Region. To register, go to or contact Karen Jackson at

Stormwater ponds are extremely important components of every community’s drainage system. These ponds are designed to provide two critical services. They prevent flooding by suppressing surges of stormwater runoff that wash from lawns, buildings and paved surfaces. They also protect water quality by holding water long enough for natural processes to remove sediment and some pollutants before it is discharged to nearby rivers or beaches.

It is important homeowners, HOA representatives and others know how to monitor and maintain neighborhood lakes and retention ponds. During the historic flood of October 2015, the National Weather Service reported numerous neighborhood lakes and retention ponds broke during this event in and around Columbia and the rest of the Midlands region, resulting widespread property loss.