Pond Types

       There is no clear distinction between “ponds” and other water bodies, but here we consider ponds to be “permanent” (having water year-round under normal conditions), “small” (typically less than a few acres) and “shallow” (typically less than 10 feet deep). Within that very general definition, however, one can find a wide range of pond “types”, classified rather subjectively based on the purposes for which they were built and evaluations of the surrounding land in which they are located. For example, the photos below are of a farm pond (at left), golf course amenity (middle) and wet detention basin (at right). Water quality is influenced by surrounding land use and purpose, but many ponds share the same kinds of organisms and management issues, regardless of pond type.


Pond types are difficult to determine based on aerial photography, and the abundances of only a few types can accurately be quantified within the Brandywine watershed. It is nonetheless useful to consider the range of purposes and characteristics of constructed ponds in the watershed, and to identify the relatively few natural ponds associated with the Brandywine Creek and its major tributaries.