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Update on Wildbrook Pond
Posted on Jan 19th, 2019

As such, your Board, with voluntary assistance from professionals in the industry, derived a plan for remediation and improvement.  Utilizing the established plan, we requested proposals from a long list of contractors, interviewed those that provided responsive submittals and selected American Grading to assist us with our project.  The work began in August of last summer and completion was anticipated by early October.

As the project began, numerous significant challenges and impediments were encountered.  A few are noted below:

  • We were hit with two hurricanes (September and October) during the construction process, one of them delivering 9+ inches of rain, causing the pond dam to be overtopped and washing into the area designated for placement of the removed soil.
  • We received the heaviest rainfall in many years, with our annual rainfall amount exceeding normal levels by 17 inches.
  • Maintaining dry working conditions with limited resources during the excessively rainy season was daunting.
  • We quickly realized that the pond area was previously used as a waste disposal area for trees, organic material and “bad dirt” in the past prior to construction of the pond.  This material was present to depths exceeding 20 feet below the pond bottom in many areas.  This condition made for extreme difficulty for the contractor in working in and around the pond.  It also made us revise our planned construction process several times so that we could work with the poor conditions.
  • Due to the soil conditions, the space available to place the removed soil was reduced.  This reduction caused the need to find alternate disposal areas and a slight reduction in the pond size.
  • Due to the rains and the changing soil conditions, our construction schedule was stretched considerably.

As of the writing of this article, the pond bottom has been excavated to depths that generally range between 4 and 6 feet below the normal pond level, with the area near the outlet structure approximately 10 to 13 feet below normal pond level (our goal was to achieve depths greater than 4 feet with 5+ feet desired).  The pond has naturally filled itself with water again and is functioning properly.  We created a “forebay” that leads into the pond which should protect the pond significantly from future siltation and allow us to remove any built-up silt much more efficiently in the future.  The pond water is a brown color currently, but the turbidity of the water is slowly decreasing with time.  Grass has been established in the main soil disposal area and a portion of the park area, but the main disposal area remains extremely soft due to the continual rain events we are receiving.  This area MUST be avoided until stability is achieved from dry weather conditions.

Due to the excessively wet weather, our contractor got to a point that the work inside the pond was complete and the work remaining outside the pond required dry conditions to do the work and manicure the final appearance properly.  As such, he has not been able to work on the project since early November.  He remains committed to completing the project but will require dry weather and dry ground conditions to do so.  This may not be achieved until late spring based on the weather pattern we seem to be in…

The items remaining to be complete are:

  • The park area near the pond needs filled so that we can line the bank with rip-rap and better control the surface water runoff.  This will require import of a small amount soil, which is difficult given our access restrictions.
  • Rip Rap needs to be placed on the park bank and improved along a portion of the bank.
  • The rock check dam that has been constructed at the forebay needs additional height. 
  • The park area needs to be fine graded, seeded and strawed after fill placement is complete.
  • The pond needs to be restocked with Carp to help control vegetative growth.
  • Storm water pipes are to be installed (at the bottom of the path that leads to the park area) in the creek that feeds the pond (where the landscaping contractor enters the area).  Imported soil will be brought in to cover the pipes and provide better access.  This will need seed/straw as well.
  • The rock and timber edging at the entrance to Wildbrook Park needs to be repaired to original condition.
  • The bench and trash can need to be reestablished in the park sometime when operations are complete and dry conditions return.
  • One irrigation line needs to be repaired.

We appreciate the patience of the community and especially those that live on the pond who have endured the construction mess for quite some time.  Once complete, we hope the community will, once again, enjoy the amenity.

 
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